School of Self-Awareness founder Joshua Fabia is quite a peculiar character, to say the least. With his own brand of teachings and techniques, he’s been working as Diego Sanchez’s lone trainer and cornerman for the last two years now.
Given his unconventional ways, it wasn’t easy for many among the MMA community to be accepting of them right away. This didn’t sit well with Fabia, that he even confronted Matt Serra at breakfast during UFC 253’s fight week in September.
But apparently, that wasn’t the only incident involving Fabia. On Thursday, Sanchez released a couple of lengthy videos showing Fabia in a lengthy rant at his UFC 253 fighter meeting.
These clips were released the same day Sanchez implied his UFC release through Instagram. He says he’s finally making them public after seven months because his name and legacy are “on the line.”
Here’s the first part of Fabia’s sermon. He began with the “low blows” and criticisms of Sanchez’s legacy before making it all about himself:
Hey, real quick guys, ‘cause you don’t know who the hell I am. You guys heard a lot of shit talk, all the good stuff. Let’s just cut the bullshit on the commentating, no low blows on this guy. No trying to turn the narrative that he’s f—ng up his legacy and all that weird stuff. Let’s just keep it fair.
You want some video, contact me and I’ll send it to you. You want to know what’s going on, you want to actually talk to the people doing it? You might actually have to f—ng talk to me. And coming at (Stephan Bonnar) like he’s gonna know all this shit? He ain’t. He hasn’t been there the whole time.
So if anybody needs to actually get those answers, you will have to speak to me. And to do that, probably allowing the media to turn the narrative on the guy that’s trying to help people here. And when you respect these two legends, it seems a little disrespectful that you don’t recognize that they respect me.
And if you’re gonna be the one telling the narrative, that’s on you when I’m getting shit on by the public. By millions of people. You’re gonna be here, like, leveraging off all of this, man. Notice I’m on the end of the shitty stick here, and none of you have stood up for anybody that needed to be stood up for. And that’s real.
It was at this point when UFC lightweight contender and color commentator Paul Felder decided to chime in.
“Man, I don’t know what the f—k you’re talking about,” an irked Felder said. “I don’t know what you’re referring to. I haven’t called one of Diego’s fights since you’ve been in his corner.
“It’s not my job to talk about what the public is talking about outside. It’s my job to talk about this athlete and his performance in the cage.
For Sanchez, it was the commentary during his February 2020 fight against Michel Pereira in New Mexico that got to him.
“My last fight, the commentary was horrible on me, man,” he said. “They disgraced me in my own hometown. They were calling me a chicken, Daniel Cormier was saying how I was drooling at the mouth. There was a lot going on, man.”
Fabia then continued with his rant.
“If we’re gonna honestly look at that, I’m saying this man deserves a fair shot in the sense of let’s not go 30 seconds into it and tell the narrative, ‘Oh, we need more kicks like that. Diego’s done!’ Yet, he’s not bleeding, and he’s coming out of the round perfectly safe and sound.”
Fabia proceeded to explain how he’s being slandered online and how it’s causing a “negative” impact on Sanchez. All three men (including cameraman Stephan Bonnar) eventually left the room as play-by-play commentator Jon Anik continued to talk to them outside.
On Thursday, the UFC confirmed with Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole that Sanchez’s contract had been terminated on April 27. According to Iole’s report, their main reason was Sanchez’s supposed “short-term and long-term medical issues” that Fabia brought up with UFC chief business officer Hunter Campbell.
Company president Dana White also had this to say:
“I have an incredible, amazing relationship with Diego and I like him very much and I hope he is OK,” White said. “One of the sad things that happen, not just in fighting but in sports, and I want you to quote me on this, are these creepy weirdos who come from God knows where and leech onto fighters or athletes. They never do any good for them.
“Somehow, this creep got into Diego’s life and has been controlling him. You saw the video of him chasing guys in the Octagon with a knife. How [expletive] nuts is that? He goes to the commission and tells them that he’s taught Diego this death touch.
“It goes on and on with this guy. He goes into the [fighter-broadcaster] production meeting and tells the commentators what they should be saying?
“The guy is batshit nuts. He worked his way into Diego’s life and has gotten control over him. I just want the best for Diego.”
Fabia and Sanchez began working together in 2019 as the latter was preparing for his UFC 239 fight against fellow TUF alum Michael Chiesa. Since they paired up, Sanchez had gone on a 1-2 run.