Diego Sanchez certainly received some strange advice from his lone cornerman during his welterweight bout with Michel Pereira.
The pair collided in the co-main event of UFC Rio Rancho last night with Pereira mostly dominating proceedings throughout the contest. However, an illegal knee on Sanchez in the third round allowed the veteran to get the disqualification victory after he craftily decided not to continue.
That wasn’t the only talking point of the fight, however. Many observed the advice Sanchez received from his new coach Josh Fabia in between rounds. Fabia received plenty of flak in Sanchez’s previous defeat to Michael Chiesa for not giving any real technical advice.
More of the same followed in the Pereira fight (via Bloody Elbow):
Fabia to Sanchez: “Five recovery breaths. Five recovery breaths.”
“Sip the water. Breathe in. Good.”
“Five recovery breaths! In the nose, out the mouth.”
“Listen carefully. Listen carefully. You are stopping your motion. Do not wait to see your work. I need forward, forward pressure. I need you to get off the line before you attack. Off the line before you attack.”
“Bee drill. Bee drill. Think of the shadow. Shadow!”
“I need you to get in. Get in, get behind. If it gets tight, if it gets sticky, take him to the ground.”
“Get on top. Give me some ride time. Give me some ground and pound.”
MMA coach Trevor Wittman gave his thoughts on Fabia’s advice in the broadcast during the second round:
“Uhh. Strange. Listening to that last corner work was very strange. I mean, I don’t know if it was code, or what, but he was talking about being tight and sticky, keep the movement, but don’t keep the movement like… This is — I’ve known Diego for a long period of time. This is just very strange to me.”
“He’s tough, he’s always got the heart to fight, but again, I don’t see what’s going on right now. For me it’s hard to watch because I know Diego, I know how good he is, his wrestling. I feel like he has to go forward, fight! Make it a fight. Sitting on the outside, he is just going to take damage and it is hard to watch.”
Sanchez was outclassed in the second round with Pereira landing a big takedown just as it came to a close. The advice from Fabia didn’t get any better either.
Fabia: “Listen to me. You need to go, alright? You need to go. I need to see you go swinging. You know why? Because you’ve got nothing to lose now.”
“He just won that round with that throw. You had the other round on points, on contact. Alright?”
Sanchez: “Okay. Yup.”
Fabia: “So you’ve got to get a takedown. You’ve got to hold him down. You’ve got to work this motherf—ker over. You hear me?”
Sanchez: “Yes. Yes, sir.”
Fabia: “You’ve got to do your fucking job. Get to work. Alright?”
Sanchez: “Yes, sir.”
Fabia: “Quit acting like you don’t know how to do it. Do not let him trigger you —”
In the end, Sanchez was able to get the win but not in the way many had expected.
What did you think of the corner advice Sanchez received?