Diego Sanchez is set to return to action on March 11, 2021, against Kevin Lee in Khabib Nurmagomedov’s first stateside event for his rising fight promotion, Eagle FC.
The bout raised a lot of eyebrows when it was announced, and not just because Lee is 11 years younger and generally viewed as way higher up the fighting food chain these days. The bigger issue is with Sanchez, who was released from Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in 2021 after his manager implied “Nightmare” was suffering the effects of CTE after 16 years with the promotion.
Then there’s Diego’s recent bout with COVID-19, which landed the fighter in the hospital with pneumonia and blood clots.
Pneumonia Covid never give up pic.twitter.com/QshVGYiUvW— Diego Sanchez UFC (@DiegoSanchezUFC) November 26, 2021
Day 27 still hospitalized and fighting this covid pneumonia and blood clots thank you for your prayers world ✝️ #tytothenursesanddoctors— Diego Sanchez UFC (@DiegoSanchezUFC) November 27, 2021
On Dec. 12, 2021, Diego declared, “I’m good still out of breath but getting better everyday,” and here’s what he said when confirming he would indeed be fighting Lee:
What a great challenge 2022 will be I lean on God for the determination to be victorious pic.twitter.com/JZbuZwEjgH— Diego Sanchez UFC (@DiegoSanchezUFC) December 25, 2021
Fully recovered and excited for 2021 to be over! and start fresh new league new weight class new inspirations— Diego Sanchez UFC (@DiegoSanchezUFC) December 25, 2021
Healthier than ever— Diego Sanchez UFC (@DiegoSanchezUFC) December 25, 2021
That’s great if true, but this wouldn’t be the first time a fighter has claimed he’s feelin’ fine when things are not, in fact, fine. That’s what athletic commissions are for: to keep fighters from participating in mismatches or when they’re not physically fit to. Unfortunately, this event goes down in Florida, so don’t expect them to take any meaningful steps to protect anyone.