Amidst the ongoing feud between Diego Sanchez and his coach Joshua Fabia on one hand and the UFC on the other, Evans has reached out to Sanchez via social media.
‘Suga’ Rashad Evans commented on one of Sanchez’s Instagram posts regarding his situation with the UFC. Noted below is Sanchez’s statement attached to a video wherein he’s given fans his side of the story –
“The legend Continues...Listen to me and not the fake narrative. My last showing was robbed after agreeing to give me a fight and waited till 12 days out to pull me from my UFC retirement fight. Hope my real fans can hear me and not the lies.”
Rashad Evans commented on Diego Sanchez’s aforementioned Instagram post. Evans’ comment read as follows –
“Diego the UFC gave you a chance to compete as long as you did because they actually cared about you. You were the original TUF CHAMP and they took care of you for that. You messed around and let that con artist Josh Fabia use you to try to get a lawsuit against the UFC. They sensed it because it was obvious that your manager/coach was about to get litigious. I wish you the best my friend but you MUST get this guy out of your life. He is a parasite.”
Evans eventually parted ways with Jackson Wink around the time of his rivalry with Jones over the UFC light heavyweight title. Regardless, Rashad Evans is still known to maintain respectful relations with many of his former teammates.
Diego Sanchez was recently released from the UFC after a series of incidents involving his coach Joshua Fabia:
In late April 2021, the MMA world was taken aback by the news of UFC legend Diego Sanchez’s sudden departure from the organization. Sanchez made his professional MMA debut in 2002 and rose to prominence in 2005 as part of the inaugural season of the UFC’s TUF (The Ultimate Fighter) reality show.
Since his time on TUF, Diego Sanchez had been with the UFC until his release from the company in April 2021. Sanchez won the TUF 1 middleweight tournament and achieved great success in the UFC, competing in four separate weight classes – middleweight, welterweight, lightweight, and featherweight.
Over the course of his long and storied career, 'The Nightmare' picked up wins over Nick Diaz, Kenny Florian, Joe Stevenson, Clay Guida, Takanori Gomi, and Jim Miller, among others.
The 39-year-old Diego Sanchez was set to compete in his final fight this year – a bout against former Jackson Wink teammate Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone at UFC Vegas 26 on May 8th, 2021. Cerrone trained for several years at the gym before parting ways in 2018 due to a few disagreements with his longtime coaches at the gym.
While Diego Sanchez publicly criticized Donald Cerrone for leaving Jackson Wink in 2018, Sanchez himself left the gym in 2019. 'The Nightmare' has been training under the guidance of Joshua Fabia since 2019. Fabia, the School of Self-Awareness founder, gained a considerable amount of notoriety in the MMA world after associating with Sanchez.
Many prominent MMA personalities such as Joe Rogan, Matt Serra, and James Krause have publicly condemned Joshua Fabia and his coaching methods. Certain sections of fans and experts in the MMA community have even gone as far as claiming that Fabia isn’t a real MMA coach and lacks actual MMA training and experience.
Following Diego Sanchez’s departure from the UFC late last month, it was revealed that Fabia had reportedly been misbehaving with the UFC brass. Furthermore, Fabia demanded Sanchez’s complete history of medical records, dating back 16 years, from the UFC.
On that note, as mentioned by UFC Hall of Famer Rashad Evans in his comment on Instagram, the UFC likely sensed that Fabia intended on getting litigious with the UFC. Although Diego Sanchez passed his medical tests for the fight against Donald Cerrone, Fabia’s actions led to the UFC requesting Sanchez to confirm whether he had any underlying medical issues.
In response to this, Joshua Fabia and Diego Sanchez’s attorney Charles Lakin refused to confirm or deny whether or not Sanchez felt fit enough to compete. Resultantly, the UFC pulled Sanchez off the May 8th fight card, as they couldn’t allow an athlete to compete unless the athlete themselves confirm that they’re fit enough to compete.
Diego Sanchez was then released from the UFC. Sanchez and Joshua Fabia have subsequently released audio and video recordings regarding the entire situation.
Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports reported that Diego Sanchez has confirmed that he was paid his full salary for the May 8th fight. Sanchez received $155,000 show money, $35,000 win bonus, $21,000 athlete outfitting bonus.
The vast majority of the MMA community has been supportive of Sanchez whilst being critical of Fabia. Additional details of the situation are expected to unravel in the days to come.