Concerns are growing among the MMA community with regards to the health of UFC Hall of Famer Diego Sanchez and the influence Joshua Fabia, of the School of Self-Awareness, has over him. In recent weeks we have seen Sanchez removed from the UFC and a number of wild claims made from the Sanchez-Fabia camp.
One of the less serious things to come out of this saga came via Donald Cerrone, who was due to fight Sanchez last weekend before the UFC cut ties with him. According to Cerrone, Fabia once bragged about his ability to throw a ‘death punch’ at a bar. ‘Cowboy’ said that resulted in a friend of his beating Fabia up.
“So the death punch did not work,” joked Cerrone.
Lando Vannata, who fights Mike Grundy this weekend, is—like Cerrone and Sanchez—veteran of the New Mexico fight scene. During the UFC 262 media day he was asked about this alleged incident involving Fabia.
After initially “pleading the fifth” on the whole thing, Vannata did eventually back up Cerrone’s story. “Somebody I know, who is a Triple OG at the gym where I train and I still see him on a pretty frequent basis, may or may not have been involved in a physical confrontation with Joshua (whatever his name is). And may or may not have put him in a triangle and submitted him at a bar. I can neither confirm nor deny.”
Lando Vannata "can neither confirm nor deny" a certain story involving Donald Cerrone and Joshua Fabia:— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) May 12, 2021
"Somebody I know, that is a Triple OG, may or may not have been involved in a physical confrontation with Joshua."
Watch full #UFC262 media scrum: https://t.co/nLz7xSAJhz pic.twitter.com/o3F8cIoNXD
Vannata added that this incident may have happened within the last 12 months.
At UFC 262 this weekend Vannata meets Grundy on the prelim card. This is Vannata’s first fight since losing a decision to Bobby Green at the UFC APEX last year. That fight with Green was a rematch from a bout that happened in 2017, which resulted in a draw.
Vannata’s first action in the UFC came at UFC Fight Night 91 in 2016, when he stepped in on short notice to face Tony Ferguson in the co-main event. Vannata put on a thrilling fight with Ferguson, but lost by d’arce choke in the second round.
‘Groovy’ is currently 3-5-2 in the UFC with wins over John Makdessi, Marcos Mariano and Yancy Medeiros.