We’re just a few months removed from the Diego Sanchez / Joshua Fabia fiasco that saw the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Hall of Famer get cut from the promotion after his trainer-manager-guru Fabia got into a fight with UFC management over past medical records.
Upon closer media inspection, many felt that Fabia had an unhealthy amount of influence over Sanchez’s life. After a month of controversy and many wild statements from both Diego and Joshua, Sanchez announced he was cutting Fabia out of his career and life.
Now, Sanchez says he’s in a good place, physically and mentally health, and ready to compete in bareknuckle boxing.
“I’m excited to do a new sport, train differently,” he said on an Instagram live video. “And I worked my ass off all these years doing MMA, trying to master and understand the principles of stand up, of striking, of movement, all this stuff. And it’s hard to learn all this stuff when you’re trying to master the grappling, the Muay Thai, master everything all at once. Strength and conditioning, yoga, it’s a massive, massive task, mixed martial arts.”
“So for me at the end of my mixed martial arts career, I trained my ass off for Donald Cerrone, I was ready to get in there and go to war. Because that was going to be my last fight, my big last hurrah [in UFC]. And I put everything into that training camp, I was ready to go. And I passed all my medicals, I passed everything. I did MRIs, MRA, I did everything. I’m perfectly fine.
“And the reason why it ended the way it did with UFC, that has other implications,” he continued. “That’s other stuff, that’s Joshua Fabia and f—king with the medicals and pushing all the wrong buttons at the UFC. Working his ass off to do what was best for his intentions. Not what was best for Diego Sanchez. I believe my mentor was guiding him in what was best for him and what was best for him was to try and figure out a way to get a settlement with UFC.
“He knew that if there was a major settlement with UFC that I’d hook him up with half cuz it was all his idea, his planning, his mastermind and everything. And I made the mistake of following a mentor that I thought had a stronger connection to God than me. And it is a story of biblical measure that people are not ready for. A spiritual warfare type of story. Maybe I write the script and I do the movie some day, but it’s a real life thing, man.
“I was always a strong Christian my whole life,” Diego said later. “Jesus Christ was my love, and by Jesus’s stripes I was healed, and by Jesus’ stripes I was protected, by the blood of Jesus I was protected. These were my beliefs, these were my core value beliefs. And Fabia came in with the shamanism and a whole different ... like I said, it was a spiritual, biblical story of biblical proportions.”
“I will get into it sometime, but it ain’t gonna be free and it ain’t gonna be on Instagram. It’s going to be with a profession that understands mental manipulation, a psychologist or something.”
It didn’t sound like Sanchez had completely thrown out everything Fabia had taught him during their time together. He still expressed confidence in Fabia’s coaching over their two years together.
“People can talk s—t about Fabia all day, but man, that f—ker was a bad ass trainer and I learned a lot from him, man,” Sanchez said. “And people are gonna see. They’re gonna see what I learned when I step into that BKFC. Because everything we did for the last two years was no gloves. You saw the viral video of me upside down getting hit. I wasn’t hurt, but I’m all good. I’m where I’m at. I got good people around me. And the only thing that is my mentor, the only thing that is my guide is the holy spirit. I have re-found my faith in Jesus Christ.”
As for Sanchez and UFC?
“Me and Dana, we’ve been talking,” Sanchez revealed. “We’re cool. He told me, ‘I’ve got nothing but love and respect for you, Diego Sanchez.’ So, in the future, I’d like to meet up with Dana and give him a handshake and tell him thank you for everything UFC did for me, giving me all these great opportunities. If I didn’t have UFC, I wouldn’t have been able to build the brand that is Diego Sanchez’s legacy.”
“With the Diego Sanchez legacy now, taking the shift to bare knuckle boxing is ... gonna be intense, it’s gonna be extreme. And that’s what I’ve been, I’ve always been intense and extreme.”
Now, we just have to wait for Bare Knuckle FC to complete their own run of medical testing on Sanchez before he can compete for the organization. We’ll keep you in the loop on how that goes ... for better or worse.