Diego Sanchez is no longer a UFC fighter

Diego Sanchez has been released by the UFC.

Sanchez won the inaugural season of The Ultimate Fighter in April 2005. After more than 16 years with the fight promotion, Sanchez is no longer a UFC fighter.

The news comes after the announcement that Sanchez was out of his UFC Vegas 26 match with Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. The reason for Sanchez’ withdraw remains unknown.

On Thursday, Sanchez posted on social media that he was “free at last,” and tagged several MMA promotions including Bellator MMA and ONE Championship. Sanchez also posted that he was stranded at the air port in Las Vegas after flying home from Abu Dhabi after his UFC 253 loss to Jake Matthews. Sanchez, his coach, Joshua Fabia, and team were not provided transportation from the air port while everyone else on the fight card was.

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Sanchez also posted two videos from UFC 253 showing Fabia airing grievances with UFC production over Sanchez’ treatment on previous broadcasts.

The 39-year-old Sanchez fought 32 times inside the Octagon. In his time as a UFC fighter, Sanchez competed as a middleweight, welterweight, lightweight and featherweight. His UFC record stands at 19-13.