UFC Parts Ways With Diego Sanchez After 16 Years

Diego Sanchez is no longer with the UFC.

Sanchez was expected to take on Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at a UFC Fight Night event on May 8. That plan went awry when it could not be proven that Sanchez wasn’t suffering from short or long-term medical issues. Sanchez’s coach, Joshua Fabia, allegedly belittled UFC employees throughout the process.

UFC’s chief business officer, Hunter Campbell, was concerned and asked attorney Charles N. Lakins for clarification on Sanchez’s health. Campbell didn’t get a satisfactory answer and Sanchez was released.

UFC President Dana White explained the situation to Yahoo! Sports and blasted Sanchez’s coach.

“I have an incredible, amazing relationship with Diego and I like him very much and I hope he is OK. One of the sad things that happen, not just in fighting but in sports, and I want you to quote me on this, are these creepy weirdos who come from God knows where and leech onto fighters or athletes. They never do any good for them.

“Somehow, this creep got into Diego’s life and has been controlling him. You saw the video of him chasing guys in the Octagon with a knife. How [expletive] nuts is that? He goes to the commission and tells them that he’s taught Diego this death touch. It goes on and on with this guy. He goes into the [fighter-broadcaster] production meeting and tells the commentators what they should be saying? The guy is [expletive] nuts. He worked his way into Diego’s life and has gotten control over him. I just want the best for Diego.”

The release comes shortly after clips of an awkward conversation between Sanchez, Fabia, and UFC staffers during a fighter meeting were posted.

Sanchez had been with the UFC since 2005. He won season one of The Ultimate Fighter in the middleweight division.

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