Over the weekend, in the co-main event of UFC Rio Rancho, Diego Sanchez picked up a disqualification win over Michel Pereira after being blasted by an illegal knee in the third-round.
Prior to the illegal move, Sanchez was seemingly down two rounds. Suffice it to say that it was not the greatest performance of his long and exciting career.
In the wake of this fight, much has been made of Sanchez’s coaching choices. After a lengthy stint with JacksonWink MMA, Sanchez has spent his last two fights under the tutelage of a “self-awareness coach” named Joshua Fabia.
Fabia does not have much in the way of martial arts experience and has been criticized for the advice he gave Sanchez between rounds in his fight with Pereira.
“Strange,” Trevor Wittman said on the broadcast for the fight in response to Fabia’s advice to Sanchez. “Listening to that last corner work was very strange. I mean, I don’t know if it was code, or what, but he was talking about being tight and sticky, keep the movement, but don’t keep the movement like… This is — I’ve known Diego for a long period of time. This is just very strange to me.
“For me it’s hard to watch because I know Diego, I know how good he is, his wrestling. I feel like he has to go forward, fight! Make it a fight. Sitting on the outside, he is just going to take damage and it is hard to watch.”
Sanchez and Fabia have now responded to this criticism from Wittman, and everybody else who chimed in.
Fabia reacted first, calling out Joe Rogan — who was not actually on commentary duty for this card — and the MMA news website MMA Junkie.
“It’s really awesome you and Joe Rogan know how to talk shit without saying my name but make sure it’s in metadata to be connected and found in search engines,” Fabia wrote on Instagram (h/t MMA Mania). “You think you’re slick. I am aware of what you are doing and you will be exposed for your biases. Very classy smear campaign. You guys are real gentlemen. Gotta tell you I really feel the love.”
Sanchez then followed up with an Instagram post of his own, scolding the media for “bullying.”
“When the media is bullying don’t allow them to get away with it, call them out on there shit publicly,” Sanchez wrote in a post that tagged dozens of accounts ranging from Aljazeera to HBO to Netflix. “Go read the comments in on the recent post about listen to the STRANGE corner advice I received! @mmajunkiedotcom where they are slandering @joshuafabiaknowbody & @schoolofselfawareness”
What do you make of the controversy involving Diego Sanchez and his coach?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 2/17/2020.