Josh Fabia has been heavily criticized by many during his stint as Diego Sanchez’s lone coach, manager, and guru. His corner advice was questioned by two-division champion Daniel Cormier and respected MMA coach Trevor Wittman during the UFC Rio Rancho broadcast, where they served as analysts and commentators.
People have questioned his training methods and martial arts background, and Fabia has since been firing back at the media and those UFC commentators as of late. He says there’s a smear campaign out against him, and took offense to the criticism.
He also questioned why people aren’t talking about Sanchez’s “masterful” movement and “Mayweather level” defense instead.
“Just like everybody talking that shit about Diego just running at his opponent — listen crazies... slow it down and recognize what you’re seeing,” Fabia told Luke Thomas. “He was loaded to go through a flying knee, and in that moment, in the speed of that, he recognized it was definitely going to be unhealthy to do that. And he smothered it, had no damage, and bounced off.
“Watch the video on Diego Sanchez’s IGTV, you will see he blocks, evades like it’s Mayweather level. It’s McGregor level,” he claimed.
“Clearly, why even McGregor — the only one with enough fight IQ to see the power in what was really happening there — is also the only person to study movement outside of the box of ‘MMA I know everything established community.’”
All in all, Fabia blames Joe Rogan’s initial criticism on his podcast from a year ago started this wave of negativity towards him.
“The criticism truly starts from Joe Rogan’s dumbass talking outta turn, slandering somebody, doing malfeasance in the audience’s eyes,” Fabia exclaimed. “because he didn’t do his due diligence to find out who I was.
“When I’m saying ‘100,’ meaning Diego needs to get close enough and start to unload his hundred strikes — not go 100%. ‘Tyson’ is not ‘act like Tyson,’ it’s code for uppercut, hook, hook, but again I don’t need to tell you my codes man. I don’t need to tell you my business.”
He says the last group of UFC commentators at Rio Rancho — Fitzgerald, Cormier, and Wittman — were simply “copying” Rogan’s style. He specifically criticized Cormier for saying that Sanchez needed to stick to where he’s good at and wrestle.
“(They’re) trying to fill the gaps with jokes. Commentate. Say what’s happening. Nobody’s asking for your opinion. If you were to go shoot, Cormier, you’d be knocked the f—k out!” he said. “So quit saying like acting like anybody can just shoot in and take a leg, anybody can do this, it’s so easy. What are you guys talking about? Have you ever tried to wrestle a guy that doesn’t want to wrestle? Did it look like Pereira was staying within range?
“If you’re not going to call it right, nobody understands what they’re seeing, so all the way from the Chiesa fight I’ve been dogged, so that’s been poisoned in the mindset of the people for a whole year.”
I don’t think this really needs to be pointed out for everyone, but here’s a few things to note:
- Both Cormier and Wittman aren’t play-by-play commentators, so yes, the UFC is literally asking them to give their opinion and analysis.
- Cormier made a career by outwrestling a lot of taller, bigger, fighters who didn’t want to wrestle or stay within range. So also, yes, the former two-division champion and Olympic wrestler might know a thing or two about going for takedowns.
- The IGTV video Fabia is referring to is this edited clip where they show all the strikes Sanchez blocked or partially blocked. They also do count a lot of strikes that hit as blocks, but that is neither here nor there.
- In a separate interview with The Athletic, Fabia claims that Pereira “only landed three strikes, and one of them was the DQ strike,” and he pushes it as proof that Sanchez has improved and now has Mayweather level defense.
- According to UFC’s official stats, Pereira landed 53 significant strikes, while Sanchez only landed 25.
Fabia says there’s a concerted effort from the UFC and the MMA media to intentionally poison people against him. He also speculated whether McGregor “might have been told to” delete his tweet about Sanchez. So maybe he thinks these official UFC statistics are part of that conspiracy as well?