Recently Diego Sanchez appeared on Anthony Smith & Laura Sanko’s podcast on SiriusXM, where he cleared the air on the heart-breaking end to his UFC career, his divorce, and outlined the pieces that came together in the lead up to his final fight against former teammate Donald Cerrone.
He also talks about how he came to train under Joshua Fabia, his departure from Jackson Winklejohn’s gym.
Here’s the whole interview, with RJ Clifford and Anthony ‘Lionheart’ Smith on SiriusXM’s MMA Today podcast.
After watching the interview, there were a few points that struck me, so I’ve outlined them below:
- He mentions how scared he is of CTE many times, which is something I feel Fabia has leveraged. Whether Fabia is truly protecting him or is using to control him I don’t know
- Diego loves the idea of having a “little asian trainer […] like in Bloodsport”. It’s possible that Diego was fulfilling his own fantasy as much as Fabia is fulfilling his
- I don’t blame Diego for leaving Jackson Winklejohn. He’s a legend and was going through a hard time, they likely didn’t give him the emotional support he needed
- Claims that he hyped Fabia up and is responsible for the hate
- Mentions that he is aware people think he is being scammed, but makes no mention of the fact that he has been scammed before. If he had brought that up, I might be able to trust his opinion a little more but the fact that he avoids his history is suspicious
- Diego claims there is narrative being pushed about him, fair enough but they did themselves no favours
- Diego claims he is speaking truth against the UFC, which in some ways he is but he fails to mention that his octagon performance changed for the worst along with his physique suffering too
- He sounds like he feels duped by the UFC and is mad people didn’t explain to him what the long term consequence of being a fighter would be
- Claims that him and Fabia have been recording everything because they don’t trust the UFC and wanted to document everything as insurance, but Fabia releasing it says otherwise
Personally, I haven’t minded Fabia in Diego‘s life as much as most of the MMA community has. I find him excruciating, but I find 95% of the population excruciating, so I don’t put that on him personally.
All things considered, I find him intellectually interested, and extremely sensitive to criticism. I’ve never really thought as him as benevolent or ill-intentioned, so for the most part, I’ve brushed off the criticism of him which I’ve heard. I more or less ignored the rumblings of him looking to sue the UFC, even though I definitely see the correlations that people are making…
But when I heard Diego talk about the UFC murdering him and making it look like a suicide my jaw hit the floor, and the that they’ve been discussing ideas as morose as ‘[the UFC] murdering Diego and making it look like a suicide’ really gave me pause.
It was a moment where I wondered if Diego has any sort of social circle or safety net (of friends, family, extended family, former teammates etc.) around to support him right now, or if it’s just Joshua Fabia. It’s a little worrisome that he says he divorced his wife over her wanting him to retire, too, seeing as how one would assume a spouse/life partner whose opinion you respect in the highest regard. And he pushed her out when she said it was time.
If it is just Joshua Fabia in Diego‘s day to day life, then that’s certainly cause for alarm, and I sure hope this isn’t a moment we look back on and say, “all the signs were there.”
I haven’t closed the book on anyone, but I do ask for more time to see how things pan out – I wish everyone all the best on their journey.
Thanks to Diego Sanchez, and to Anthony Smith and RJ Clifford for putting this interview together and giving us a chance to hear things straight from the horse’s mouth with no snippets, edits, or intermediaries.
I’m curious to hear your thoughts on what went down, and how Diego looks at the situation. Did this interview shine some light on the positive impact Joshua Fabia has had on Diego‘s MMA career, or does this just make him look worse?
Let us know in the comments! 👇