The Diego Sanchez and Josh Fabia saga was a weird ride. Now that it’s over and the dust has settled, the unfortunate reality has set in. The unfortunate reality of the fact that a fighter who should be well respected and revered amongst all fans, has been exiled from the UFC and reduced to a laughing stock in the process.
The Sanchez and Fabia relationship was tailor-made for being the focus of a whole lot of mockery across headlines and on social media . We’ve seen our fair share of wacky and weird things in this sport over the years, but nothing quite like this. It was doomed from the start, what started as a silly storyline to poke fun at, turned into a downright concerning situation.
Say what you will about it, it’s certainly deserving of some pretty harsh criticism. But what got lost in the media hysteria is the respect Sanchez deserves despite the madness. In his day, there was probably no fighter as determined and as focused as Deigo Sanchez. From a competitor standpoint, he set a very good example for the fighters of today when it comes to how to conduct yourself in competition. He’s had a far bigger influence on this sport than he gets credit for, and it’s disheartening to see him go out like this.
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) May 24, 2021
Sanchez came from a time when the performances said more about you as a fighter than the self-promotion outside of the cage. His fighting did the talking, and he is who he is because of his performances, not his personality. Though his character didn’t hurt him too badly. He was always a little eccentric, a lot of fans forget that he has been this way since day one. But whether he was the Dream or the Nightmare, he was always both inspirational and can’t miss T.V.
The fight against Clay Guida was a fight for the ages and a perfect representation of what he gave fans throughout his career. He gave an equally incredible performance again later on in his career against one of the best lightweights in the world in Gilbert Melendez. He didn’t win the UFC title, though he did earn the right to fight for it back in 2009 against BJ Penn. The guy has been in the UFC since 2009 and fought the absolute best of the best across 31 fights. Sanchez is in the very rare company that not only has achieved longevity in the sport, but achieved longevity under the UFC banner.
Do you think Dana White and Diego Sanchez can settle their differences? https://t.co/9yogWbx9bP
— bjpenndotcom (@bjpenndotcom) May 27, 2021
There’s an argument to be made about whether or not he should still be competing at this stage in his career, and despite the fact his record has been spotty as of late. After all of these years , he isn’t even looking overly shopworn all things considered. If he wanted to do one last fight, he should at least be given that much. The UFC tried to do that for him, but understandably they had to pull the plug. UFC president Dana White has expressed there was no ill will against Sanchez, it’s common knowledge amongst the MMA fan base that all the contestants from season one of TUF hold a place in the president’s heart. In a recent interview after Sanchez was cut, White was quoted as saying that Sanchez is free to pick up the phone anytime.
Sanchez certainly didn’t do himself any favors and was given every chance possible. But now that he has parted ways with Fabia, perhaps an opportunity could arise and he could get that last fight in the UFC after all. But if it doesn’t, and if he does go out like this. Hopefully, history will be kind to his career and not recognize him as the eccentric weirdo who went out on a bad note. But for the absolute warrior and highly influential mixed martial artist that he was.