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Diego Sanchez and his coach blast media for ‘smear campaign’ following UFC Rio Rancho

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Diego Sanchez and his head coach had a lot of problems with the comments made towards them following the co-main event at UFC Rio Rancho this past weekend.

The former Ultimate Fighter winner was down 20-18 across all three scorecards going into the third round where he ultimately was unable to continue after Michel Pereira hit him with an illegal knee late in the fight.

While he scored the win via disqualification, Sanchez and his lone cornerman, Joshua Fabia, took serious issue with some of the comments made about them from the fight.

Fabia addressed the situation via Instagram and then Sanchez reposted the comment with his response added as well.

“It’s really awesome you and Joe Rogan know how to talk sh*t without saying my name,” Fabia wrote. “But make sure it’s in metadata to be connected and found in search engines. 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. Got tell you I really feel the love.”

Sanchez then backed up his coach by taking aim at the media for the comments made about their coach-fighter relationship during the fight.

“When the media is bullying don’t allow them to get away with it,” Sanchez wrote. “Call them out on there sh*t publicly! Go read the comments in on the recent post about listen to the strange corner advice I received!”

There is a lot to dissect from those two separate responses but Fabia’s post was partially directed at frequent UFC color commentator Joe Rogan except there’s one problem — he wasn’t working the broadcast this past weekend. Instead, the commentary team consisted of play-by-play man Brendan Fitzgerald, former two-division champion Daniel Cormier and coach Trevor Wittman.

The commentary team did react several times to some of the corner advice that Sanchez was receiving. In particular, Cormier was confused after hearing Fabia tell the veteran lightweight that he won the first round despite Pereira clearly controlling the action throughout.

That’s when Wittman reacted to Sanchez’s performance in the fight.

“Oh he didn’t win the first round,” Wittman said. “He did not win the first round. The thing is, he needs some technical advice on how he closes the gap, and what he needs to do. Yes, we know his go to, he’s got to wrestle, but give some technical stuff!

“I just feel like what is going on tonight, and watching this, it’s crazy! It’s crazy. It’s unique. Again, it is hard to watch Diego in this moment right here. It’s different.”

Fabia, who Sanchez calls his “guru”, has been the only person in his corner for the past two fights. Sanchez began training with Fabia following his exit from the Jackson-Wink team after calling that gym home for several years.

Under Fabia, Sanchez is 1-1 with a lopsided defeat to Michael Chiesa and the disqualification win over Pereira from this past Saturday night.