Thursday, May 19, 2022

Diego Sanchez: Conor McGregor Is Not A Good Influence On Our Youth

Diego Sanchez is hoping to use his position in the sport to be a positive influence on the next generation and believes some fighters with a larger platform have fallen short in doing so.

Diego Sanchez is a 20-year veteran of the sport who the MMA community has witnessed grow right before their eyes, beginning with his time on The Ultimate Fighter series in 2005. Since then, we’ve witnessed all the highs and the lows of Sanchez’s MMA journey. But one thing that has always remained constant is his love for the sport and the connection he has with the fans.

Speaking with MMA Junkie, Sanchez opened up on his desire to be a beacon of inspiration for the next generation with no strings attached. He also provided one notorious example of someone he feels has fallen short in that area.

“Now, I wanna help the youth of the next generation. I wanna be a positive, motivating inspiration and just a good influence for these kids,” Sanchez said. “Because you got guys out there like Conor McGregor that are giants of influences. And drinking Proper Twelve and hitting old men is not really a good influence to be spreading for the youth of the next generation. 

“So I’m doing my best to do my part. And that’s why I do free seminars with kids. Anybody wanna fly me out to anywhere in America in the world, wherever, I’ll do a free seminar for the kids. Anywhere, anytime. I’ll go make that time to work with the youth of the next generation because they’re the ones that need the most because they’re the ones that are gonna keep us going and eventually be taking care of us.”

Sanchez has indeed been very charitable with his time and actions for his fans. In 2017, he even participated in an “exhibition” fight with a superfan who had Down syndrome to help make the fan’s dream.

Diego Sanchez helps make UFC superfan's dream come true |

As for McGregor, Sanchez alluded to one specific incident in 2019 where the Irishman was fined for punching an elderly man in a pub. McGregor has also had other run-ins with the law during his tenure under the spotlight.

Despite Sanchez not thinking highly of McGregor as a role model, there has always been a strong sense of mutual respect displayed between the two publicly. In fact, Sanchez once expressed that he wanted his retirement fight to be against McGregor, and much to the surprise of many, including UFC President Dana White, McGregor wanted the fight as well.

McGregor also came to Sanchez’s defense when the TUF winner was involved with controversial manager Joshua Fabia. After a video was released last year of Sanchez taking blows from Fabia while hanging upside down, McGregor spoke up and advised Sanchez to take a different path.

Diego Sanchez’s next professional venture features his first MMA fight outside of the UFC in 18 years and his first fight since 2020. He will be taking on Kevin Lee on March 11 in a 165 lbs. bout for the Eagle FC promotion.

Do you agree with Diego Sanchez’s take on Conor McGregor?

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