Thursday, June 17, 2021

Diego Sanchez Shares His Side Of The Story Behind UFC Release

Diego Sanchez has come forward to give his side of the story behind his release from the Ultimate Fighting Championship. 

Following the news of Diego Sanchez’s UFC release, Dana White provided details as to the reason behind cutting the UFC veteran days before his final fight in the promotion against Donald Cerrone. According to White, he and other UFC executives had concerns when Sanchez’s “batshit crazy” manager, Joshua Fabia, requested Sanchez’s entire medical history dating back to the start of Sanchez’s 16-year UFC run. This raised red flags for the UFC, who then reached out to Sanchez to ensure that he was fit to compete. When those talks did not yield the results they were looking for, the company made the decision to cut Sanchez.

Following Sanchez’s release, Fabia leaked a recorded phone call between himself and UFC Executive Vice President & Chief Business Officer Hunter Campbell. During the phone call, Fabia expressed frustration about Sanchez being unable to gain access to his own medical records. Meanwhile, Campbell stressed that he wanted written confirmation that Sanchez was not experiencing any medical issues that would put him at risk when competing on the 8th. Essentially, both gentlemen were asking for two completely separate things from one another and apparently reached an impasse as a result of the miscommunication. 

Diego Sanchez Shares His Side Of The Story

Friday night, Diego Sanchez himself came forward to break down what happened from his perspective.

“The UFC wanted me to state that I am not experiencing any neurological issues and that I have no long-term health side effects from a fighting career of 17 years in the UFC,” Sanchez said in an Instagram Live story. “And so, basically, my advisors told me, basically, what they’re trying to do is right before you finish your last fight, they’re trying to make sure they have documentation of you saying you never sustained anything. So basically, you’re being forced, being bullied into waving your medical rights, possible medical liabilities.”

After Sanchez declined to submit the statement requested by the UFC, that is what led to his release from the company. They did, however, provide him with full payment for his canceled fight against Cerrone, including both show money and win money, as a parting gift to the veteran.

Diego Sanchez
Diego Sanchez, Image Credit: USA TODAY Sports

According to Sanchez, the official reason given for the release had nothing to do with his medical health or looking out for him but was supposedly related to his most recent performance.

“The only thing that was in the email was, ‘Due to your last loss in Abu Dhabi vs. Jake Matthews…’ no explanation other than that. And this seems like a lot of bullshit to me because if you ask me, if the problem was my performance in my Jake Matthews fight, why entertain me with the Cowboy fight? Why have a meeting with me, Sean? Why give me my fight papers? Why sign the fight? Why sign the bout? Why sell the fight to ESPN?'”

In the end, Sanchez has no regrets about the way he and his team handled the situation because he believes this was his only window of opportunity to gain access to his medical records before the UFC brass became incommunicado after his release.

“Once I’m done and I’m out of the UFC, do you think that I’m gonna be able to get a hold of anybody?” Sanchez asked. “You think that anything’s gonna go through? No, nothing’s gonna go through. I’m never gonna get shit from them. 

“So yeah, at the end of my career, me and my manager decided, yeah, now is the time to get what we can get because they’re probably not gonna give us shit after you are released.”

How do you believe things were handled from Diego Sanchez and his team?