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Diego Sanchez terminates coaching relationship with Joshua Fabia

The Ultimate Fighter Season 1 winner has rescinded any official power of attorney granted to his former guru/coach.

Diego Sanchez sits backstage ahead of his UFC Rio Rancho bout.
Diego Sanchez sits backstage ahead of his UFC Rio Rancho bout.
Photo by Todd Lussier/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Diego Sanchez’s working relationship with School of Self Awareness coach/guru Joshua Fabia has become a cause for concern among many in the MMA industry. Videos of Fabia chasing other UFC fighters, confronting UFC staff, and even stringing Sanchez up like a heavy bag to use for some light target practice all sparked fears among the MMA community that the former Ultimate Fighter Season 1 winner may be getting taken advantage of by someone with a less-than-scrupulous agenda.

For months, however, Sanchez’s support for Fabia remained undaunted. Even just in the past few weeks, the ‘Nightmare’ told one interviewer that he had cut off family members who suggested that Fabia might be abusing his relationship with Sanchez.

“Being open and honest, I think that’s one big factor about me and Joshua... and also loyalty,” Sanchez said. “I’ve been loyal in not giving up on this guy. Not believing the bullshit of the internet. Even to the point where I’m having to — I’m having family members that, I’m having to disown some family members because it’s that hard. The agenda is so hard, so pushed so hard!”

What exactly the breaking point may have been isn’t yet clear, but MMA Fighting reports that as of Thursday, May 20th, the former Jackson-Wink trained athlete had severed all business relations with Fabia. Sanchez is reportedly preparing to make an official statement to the media in the next few days. However, attorney Charles Lakins spoke to Fighting briefly on the fighter’s behalf.

“Any power of attorney that Fabia had has been rescinded/terminated,” Lakins said.

Sanchez’s UFC contract was recently terminated in the lead up to a planned retirement bout against Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone. UFC officials reportedly contacted Sanchez out of concern for the fighter’s health, and pulled him from the welterweight contest when he was unwilling to provide certification that he wasn’t suffering from any medical issues.

Lakins was unwilling to provide any updates on Sanchez’s potential condition. However, the fighter has apparently been back in communication with the UFC recently, enrolling in the Professional Athletes Brain Health Study to undergo testing and documentation for possible medical issues.

“We’re talking, man,” Sanchez told MMA Fighting about his UFC relationship earlier this month. “We’re going to do some studies and get myself and my mental health and everything documented by the doctors at the Cleveland Health Clinic and a couple other places that they’re going to pay for me to go to. We’re going to see how that goes, and then we’re going to get a second opinion.”

No word yet on whether on how soon Sanchez may be looking to continue his fighting career now that he’s no longer under UFC contract. In the meantime, it seems the fighter hopes to use his profile in the sport to do some public speaking.

“I’ll be going to schools and talking to kids about the truth of sports and how to work hard in your education,” Sanchez said of his future plans. “And maybe you don’t need to join up on the wrestling team to become a UFC fighter.”