It wasn’t long ago that UFC President Dana White got mixed up in the ongoing saga involving original Ultimate Fighter champion Diego Sanchez and his now former trainer and “guru” Joshua Fabia.
The relationship between the promotion and Sanchez deteriorated so quickly that the UFC ended up scrapping his most recent fight against Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone and then releasing him from his contract.
At the time, Sanchez was largely allowing Fabia to act on his behalf, which led to more than a few awkward encounters including one highly publicized altercation during a meeting with the UFC’s broadcast team where the founder of the “School of Self Awareness” berated the analysts for perceived slights made against the one-time UFC lightweight title contender during his previous fight.
Just weeks after he was released from the UFC, Sanchez ultimately decided to cut ties with Fabia, which then led to the trainer doing an interview where he took numerous unsubstantiated personal shots at his former client while accusing him of being an addict, claiming he had “sexual abuse issues” and claiming that Sanchez was broke and “taking advantage” of him.
White admits he hasn’t paid much attention to anything Fabia has said about anybody but he still stands by his offer to help Sanchez if that’s what he needs right now.
“I haven’t really paid attention to any of that,” White told Yahoo Sports. “I don’t care what that guy says. This is one of those things, I was just telling the media the other day, every time you guys ask me about the Triller guys. It’s like come on, you want a reaction from me. That’s what you’re looking for. I feel the same way about this kid [Joshua Fabia]. All you guys know this kid’s batsh*t nuts and whatever. If Diego needs me, just like the last however many years, Diego’s never been that needy guy. I did see where he came out and said ‘I’ve been trying to talk to Dana for …’ — Diego Sanchez can pick up the phone and call me. Any of those TUF kids.
“I had a falling out a few years ago with Josh Koscheck. If Josh Koscheck picked up the phone and called me, I would talk to Josh Koscheck. If any of those kids needed me, all they’ve got to do is pick up the phone and call me. Diego Sanchez, this will always be his house, always be a part of the history of this company and as long as I’m here, he’ll always be respected for what he’s done for the UFC and The Ultimate Fighter.”
Judging by his comments, White isn’t losing sleep over anything that’s said about him in the media much less giving any credence to what Fabia is spouting.
“I don’t really care what anybody says,” White said. “When I tell you I don’t give a f*ck, I could not be more honest when I tell you I don’t give a f*ck. But I love Diego Sanchez, I always will and if Diego needs me all he needs to do is pick up the phone.”
Prior to the tumultuous situation that ended with Sanchez being released from the UFC, he was scheduled to face Cerrone in what was supposed to be the final fight of his career.
With Fabia now out of the picture, Sanchez could potentially mend fences with the promotion but White admits he wasn’t all that enthusiastic about booking the fight with Cerrone in the first place; rather, White believed that if he didn’t give Sanchez one more fight before calling it a career that somebody else would grant him that opportunity so he kept it in house with the UFC.
“I don’t know. I honestly don’t know,” White said about bringing Sanchez back for another fight in the UFC. “Even when we were doing his farewell fight, I didn’t love it. I didn’t love the fact that he’s still fighting. But no matter what, if I let Diego go, he’ll probably end up somewhere else. That’s what I was thinking at the time.
“I love the kid so he wanted one more fight so I was going to give it to him and then all hell broke loose and here we are today.”