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‘Mental manipulation’ - Diego Sanchez reveals Joshua Fabia’s ‘plan’ to try and get money from UFC

Diego Sanchez feels ready for bare-knuckle boxing, and despite the split, he still credits his “badass” former trainer Joshua Fabia.

Diego Sanchez is ready for his transition to bare knuckle boxing under BKFC.
Diego Sanchez is ready for his transition to bare knuckle boxing under BKFC.
Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Diego Sanchez is preparing for his next career move outside of mixed martial arts. At 39 years of age, “The Nightmare” appears to be headed for bare-knuckle boxing under BKFC.

Sanchez will be making the jump without his controversial mentor Joshua Fabia, whom he severed ties with in May.

During their split, it was revealed that Sanchez had previously given Fabia power of attorney and control over his finances and affairs. The TUF winner says he eventually realized that Fabia was using and “guiding” his career for his own benefit as he tried to get money from the UFC.

“(Fabia was) working his ass off to do whatever was best for his intentions... not what was best for Diego Sanchez. I believe my mentor was guiding me for what was best for him,” Sanchez said in a recent Instagram live session. “And what was best for him was to try and figure out a way to get a settlement with the UFC.

“He knew that if there was a major settlement with the UFC that I was going to hook him up with half, because it was him, it was all his idea, all his plan. He was masterminding everything. I made the mistake,” he said.

“I can’t go too much into that. I will get into it sometime, but it ain’t gonna be free and it ain’t gonna be on Instagram, and it’s going to be with a professional that understands mental manipulation.”

Several coaches and fighters have discredited Fabia’s techniques and training methods, but Sanchez says he will still bring with him the lessons he picked up from the “badass” School of Self-Awareness guru.

“People can talk shit about Fabia all day, but man. That f—r was a badass trainer, and I learned a lot from him. And people gonna see what I learned when I step into that BKFC because everything that we did for the last two years was no gloves. You saw the viral video of me upside down, getting hit. I wasn’t hurt, by the way.

“It’s all good, man. I’m where I need to be now. I got good people around me. The only thing that is my mentor, the only thing that is my guide is the holy spirit.”

Many are also worried for Sanchez’s physical health, given the nature of bare knuckle boxing. But for the Albuquerque native, MMA poses more dangers to the body.

“As far as BKFC having more damage than UFC? That’s some bullshit,” he said. “The kicks are like a baseball bat, you’ve got elbows, you got slams. You get slammed on your neck in MMA. You got a lot more hip injuries, knee injuries, everything. Back injuries.

“There’s not more trauma, there’s not more danger. There are some guys in bare knuckle that, right now at this time, they haven’t evolved. And the only thing they know how to do is brawl and come forward. But, like I said, I’m very excited to expand and bring what I have to bring to the table.”

Sanchez last fought in September 2020 against Jake Matthews at UFC 253. He lost via unanimous decision as he now holds a professional record of 30-13.