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Diego Sanchez ends professional relationship with Joshua Fabia

Diego Sanchez
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

UFC Hall of Famer Diego Sanchez is no longer working with Joshua Fabia as a manager, coach and guru, he told MMA Fighting on Thursday.

Sanchez declined further comment on the situation, saying he would make a statement next week and needed to gather his thoughts before speaking to the media.

Sanchez’s attorney, Charles Lakins, said the decision to leave Fabia was made on Thursday. He added Sanchez had withdrawn his business ties to the coach.

“Any power of attorney that Fabia had has been rescinded/terminated,” Lakins said.

Fabia did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Sanchez began working professionally with Fabia in 2019 before his fight with Mickey Gall at UFC 235. His relationship with the self-described healer and owner of the School of Self Awareness was the subject of much controversy in the MMA community as fans and fighters expressed concern over the coach and manager’s degree of control over his career.

Fabia repeatedly clashed with UFC executives and employees at UFC events at which Sanchez competed. In the buildup to a UFC Vegas 26 fight with Donald Cerrone that he and Sanchez billed as a retirement bout, Fabia raised red flags with executives after requesting all of Sanchez’s medical paperwork from his decade-plus career in the UFC.

In a call Fabia secretly recorded with executives Sean Shelby and Hunter Campbell, Campbell expressed concern about Sanchez’s well-being and said he would require the fighter to certify he wasn’t suffering from any short- or long-term medical issues.

When Sanchez refused via Lakins to certify he wasn’t suffering from any issues, including those having to do with his brain health, he was removed from the fight and released from contract.

Fabia and Sanchez repeatedly lashed out at the UFC in the wake of the fight cancellation. But Sanchez later reestablished contact with the promotion, he previously told MMA Fighting, and agreed to participate in the Professional Athletes Brain Health study funded in part by the promotion. He also said he would remain loyal to Fabia, as the coach and manager had done many good things for him during their relationship.

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