Diego Sanchez is one of the most colorful characters in mixed martial arts history. From his run to becoming a King of the Cage champion to winning the inaugural edition of The Ultimate Fighter to his 15-year tenure in the Octagon. He has been a fan-favorite from the beginning, as much for his enigmatic personality as for his non-stop style of fighting.
He added a little more color to his history with a bizarre ending at UFC on ESPN+ 25 on Saturday in Rio Rancho, N.M. Then on Monday, he laid into those that criticized him and his coach.
By all accounts, Michel Pereira was taking the fight to Sanchez in their co-main event bout. Leading 20-18 on all three scorecards going into the final round, Pereira was showboating a bit before eventually sending Sanchez to his knees from a shot to the body. While Sanchez was downed, Pereira delivered an illegal knee to the head, leaving him dazed and bleeding as the doctor checked on him.
The referee asked Sanchez if he was able to continue. Sanchez stated that he couldn’t see because of the blood from the cut that opened up on his forehead due to the illegal knee. He then asked if the fight would end in a disqualification if he couldn’t continue. The referee then denied Sanchez’s request to talk to his coach.
Asked if he wanted to continue or not, Sanchez responded no, saying that he could not see out of his left eye.
Pereira was disqualified and Sanchez was ruled the winner. After the fight, Sanchez was transported to a hospital for evaluation.
As always when there is a questionable ending to a fight, the critics come out in droves. This fight was no different. Some people criticized Sanchez for not seemingly quitting others backing his being smart and not fighting on in an impaired state. Still others criticized Sanchez’s coach.
Neither Sanchez nor his coach, Joshua Fabia, were pleased by the criticism.
“When the media is bullying don’t allow them to get away with it, call them out on there s**t publicly!” Sanchez wrote on Instagram. “Go read the comments in on the recent post about listen to the STRANGE corner advice I received!”
Sanchez also reposted his coach’s comments zeroing in on UFC commentator Joe Rogan.
“It’s really awesome you and Joe Rogan know how to talk s**t without saying my name. But make sure it’s in metadata to be connected and found in search engines. You think you’re slick. I am aware of what you are doing and you will be exposed for your biases,” wrote Fabia.
“Very classy smear campaign. You guys are real gentlemen. Got to tell you, I really feel the love.”
(Photo courtesy of UFC)
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