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‘I built myself! Not a coach,’ Fabia-free Diego Sanchez hints at move to boxing

Diego Sanchez seems to be mulling a move to boxing.

Diego Sanchez got released from the UFC and his coach/guru/manager Joshua Fabia is under fire again.
Diego Sanchez when he faced Jake Matthews at UFC 253.
Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

The story of Diego Sanchez and Joshua Fabia is one of the more bizarre, and sometimes concerning, tales we’ve seen play out in MMA over the last few months.

For a time it seemed the UFC’s veteran’s loyalty to the guru behind the School of Self-Awareness seemed ironclad. Fabia, who popped up in Sanchez’s corner a few years ago and later became Sanchez’s head coach and seemingly spiritual advisor, recently cost Sanchez his place in the UFC and fight with fellow Albuquerque fight-scene legend Donald Cerrone.

Sanchez’s split from the UFC, a promotion for which he was the longest serving fighter, came about after video emerged showing Fabia in an odd confrontation with members of the UFC’s media team.

Fabia then attacked the UFC and Dana White with a number of unusual and defamatory statements. After being released Sanchez also said some strange things about the UFC, including that he feared the promotion might try and kill him.

Negative opinions on Fabia peaked when another video was released showing Fabia treating Sanchez like a punching bag.

Soon after that video came out Sanchez announced he and Fabia were going their separate ways. Fabia then started firing off accusations against Sanchez.

Sanchez has stayed quiet on the issue since then. But recently he posted a not-so-subtle dig at those who credit any one coach or team for his success in the cage.

“I built my name, I built my skill set, I built my legacy and I will finish my fight career on the confidence I built in myself!” he wrote. “Not a coach not a team but blessing from God!”

Curiously, Sanchez ended the post with #boxing. This seems to be an indicator that Sanchez is looking to cash in on the latest trend that has seen MMA fighters switch gloves in search of new challenges and bigger paydays (see Ben Askren, Tyron Woodley and Anderson Silva).

Sanchez, a UFC Hall of Fame member thanks to his show winning appearance on The Ultimate Fighter 1, joined the promotion way back in 2005 and once competed for the UFC lightweight title.

He fought 32 times for the UFC and was 3-3 in his last six contests. Sanchez’s most recent fight was a decision loss to Jake Matthews at UFC 253 last September.