Diego Sanchez is convinced that the world will bear witness to how much he actually learned under controversial trainer Joshua Fabia when he makes his bare-knuckle boxing debut.
It has been recently reported that free agent Diego Sanchez is nearing a deal with the Bareknuckle Fighting Championship. Sanchez has not competed since losing to Jake Matthews at UFC 253 in September 2020 but was supposed to have his farewell UFC fight against Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in May. Before this bout could take place, however, all hell broke loose between Team Sanchez (particularly Sanchez’s then-manager Joshua Fabia) and the UFC.
Team Sanchez’s dispute with the UFC regarding having full access to Sanchez’s medical records snowballed into the promotion parting ways with Sanchez but paying him for the canceled bout against Cerrone. Soon after Sanchez’s UFC release, Joshua Fabia’s reputation was the subject of intense criticism after a viral video was released that showed the trainer punching and kicking an upside-down Diego Sanchez.
Still, despite the controversy and ridicule placed on Fabia’s name, Sanchez says he learned a lot during his time under the School of Self-Awareness leader, and the public will see this for themselves when he makes his BKFC debut.
“People can talk shit about Fabia all day, but man, that fucker was a badass trainer, man,” Sanchez said in an Instagram Live Session “And I learned a lot from him. And people are gonna see what I learned when I step into that BKFC because everything that we did for the last two years was no gloves…
“You saw the viral video of me upside down getting hit…I wasn’t hurt by the way. I wasn’t hurt. But it’s all good, man. I’m where I need to be now. I got good people around me. And the only thing that is my mentor, the only thing that is my guide is the holy spirit.”
Although Sanchez believes he learned and grew as a martial artist under Fabia, Sanchez’s parting feelings towards Sanchez aren’t all positive. The former UFC veteran even alluded to being subjected to “mental manipulation” during their partnership (h/t Bloody Elbow).
“He knew that if there was a major settlement with the UFC that I was going to hook him up with half, because it was him, it was all his idea, all his plan. He was masterminding everything. I made the mistake,” he said.
“I can’t go too much into that. I will get into it sometime, but it ain’t gonna be free and it ain’t gonna be on Instagram, and it’s going to be with a professional that understands mental manipulation.”
Sanchez may be opting to go the tight-lipped route, but the same cannot be said for Fabia, who had no problem baring his soul regarding his split with Sanchez, which included many disparaging claims and accusations made against the former Ultimate Fighter winner. Nonetheless, with the past and Fabia now behind him, Sanchez is now free for a fresh start, and it seems only a matter of time before these new beginnings take place in the BKFC.