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James Krause responds to Diego Sanchez’s callout in defense of coach: ‘I was giving my opinion, and if you don’t like it, fight me’

James Krause has further responded to Diego Sanchez’s callout and would be honored to potentially be the latter’s final opponent.

On Tuesday, Krause shared a fight poster, along with screenshots of a direct message Sanchez sent him on Instagram accepting a challenge from the inaugural winner of The Ultimate Fighter. Sanchez didn’t take kindly to things Krause said about his coach and mentor Joshua Fabia that stemmed from a September appearance on Line Movement MMA’s Octagon Outlook, where he appeared as a co-host.

In a recent appearance on What the Heck, Krause further discussed Sanchez’s message and tried to make sense of it all.

“I don’t know him as a person, maybe he is a good guy,” Krause said of Fabia to MMA Fighting. “I don’t know him. I’ve never said a bad word... well, that’s not necessarily true. I feel like he’s a master manipulator. I did respond to Diego and said, ‘I’m sure he’s a nice guy, he just doesn’t know sh*t about fighting.’”

Combat sports rivalries have been built with a hot microphone, but these days, social media can create them as well. In fact, Krause’s rivalry with Joaquin Buckley, according to MMA Fighting’s 2020 Knockout of the Year winner, began with an exchange via Instagram DM’s.

Neither fighter shared screenshots, or the exact particulars of that conversation. When Krause shared the callout from Sanchez, people wondered if he violated an unwritten code of ethics—which is something Krause completely disagrees with.

“First of all, there’s been a couple of people who said there’s bro code with not sharing DM’s,” Krause said. “This wasn’t a f*cking conversation we had back and forth. I never shared the Buckley conversation because that was a back and forth dialogue. I didn’t share that, that’s bro code. There was no dialogue here. I said, ‘You can get it. Let’s go. Ask for it, I’m here.’ There was no dialogue.

“That was the end of it. Let’s go. I ain’t hard to find, man.”

Krause has won his last seven welterweight appearances, including a short notice unanimous decision win over Claudio Silva at UFC Fight Island 6 in October. He was surprised about the timing of Sanchez’s message since his appearance on the podcast in question took place several months prior.

“I basically said I thought his coach was a joke and apparently he took offense to that,” Krause explained. “This was like six or eight months ago. Sh*t, I had forgotten all about it. It may have been even longer, but I just said I thought the dude was a master manipulator. I think he’s a joke. I don’t know him personally but I don’t think he knows anything about combat sports, period.

“He’s a dude that you see on the McDojo Instagram page doing like magical sh*t and people believe it,” Krause stated. “Unfortunately he’s got a hold of Diego who believes it, and I don’t know what that’s about. But Diego should know better, he’s always been a little odd anyway.”

Sanchez has been saying that he has one fight left in his long and storied career. “Nightmare” has lost two of his last three, with the victory coming via disqualification against Michel Pereira due to an illegal knee in the final two minutes of their matchup at UFC Rio Rancho this past February.

After finishing Mickey Gall at UFC 235, there are many that point the finger at Fabia in regards to Sanchez’s recent decline. Fair or not, Krause is certainly one of those people.

“I was just giving my opinion and if you don’t like it, fight me,” Krause said. “I don’t know how else to say it. Apparently he wants to fight me but I haven’t heard a response since I posted that [from him] or his guy.”

No matter what Krause thinks of his coach and mentor, Sanchez is a fighter he has an immense amount of respect for. When Sanchez lays down the gloves and moves on to the next chapter of his career, the Glory MMA head coach believes he should be rightfully enshrined regardless of how a fight between them would ultimately play out.

“From a competitor’s standpoint, he needs to be in the Hall of Fame,” Krause explained. “He was a pioneer of the sport. He’s almost 40 years old and him competing at the high levels at 40 is amazing in itself. I won’t be in the UFC when I’m 40. He won that first season of The Ultimate Fighter, has fought the who’s who of UFC vets. He’s fought everybody. Is there a part of me that wants to fight him? Yeah, absolutely. I’d love to fight a legend like him.

“I have a lot of respect for him, but where he’s at in his career I don’t think we’re on the same level by any means. Even more so, I think his coach is hindering his career.”

Sanchez is not your typical fighter. He is a unique and passionate individual, which is one of the many reasons why people have been drawn to him for the last 16 years he’s been on the UFC roster.

There are many who have expressed concern with Sanchez at this point in his career. When asked about that, Krause gave his honest assessment, but would be honored to share the octagon with one of the pioneers of the sport, and a focal point in the beginning of the sport’s acceptance in the mainstream.

“It’s not my job to be concerned with the dude, but if you just watch and say that there hasn’t been some kind of decline there, you would be blind to say that there hasn’t been a decline in his performance,” Krause said. “Listen, I’m not in any shape to comment on someone’s mental health, but it seems from the outside looking in that there’s definitely some things going on.

“Look, if he wants to fight me, I would love to fight him. I don’t feel like we’re on the same level. But am I gonna turn down a fight against a legend like him? Absolutely not. Somebody’s got to fight him. Why not me?”

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