Former UFC lightweight title challenger and The Ultimate Fighter 1 victor, Diego Sanchez has detailed his ongoing battle with COVID-19 — claiming that no opponent or rigorous fight camp compares to the battle he is currently facing.

Sanchez, who was released from the UFC back in May ahead of an expected retirement fight against former Jackson-Wink MMA training partner, Donald Cerrone, recently confirmed that he had tested positive for the novel coronavirus — and required hospitalization. Sanchez confirmed he had received his entire fight purse, win bonus, as well as sponsorship pay from the organization following his release. 

Posting on his official social media, the 39-year-old Sanchez confirmed that he was battling pneumonia and COVID-19 from hospital, and confirmed he had been diagnosed with blood clots in both his legs as a result. 

Diego Sanchez details his ongoing battle after testing positive for COVID-19

The Albuquerque, New Mexico native provided an update on his condition in hospital last night, where he detailed how his battle with COVID-19 was more difficult than any fight he had competed in across his professional career, or any fight camp he utilized to prepare for a fight.

This has been the fight of a fighters life,” Diego Sanchez tweeted. “No fight camp or opponent has dominated me like this. It’s been a long fight last night I think I (sic) finally win a round with the help of my corner, God, Jesus, (and) Holy Spirit & and the many candles prayers lit in the hearts of my loved ones #faith.

Sanchez, who also recently cut ties with the highly-criticized head coach and guru, Joshua Fabia, last competed professionally back in September of last year on ‘Fight Island’ in a unanimous decision loss to Jake Matthews. 

The inaugural Ultimate Fighter tournament victor was recently linked with an eventual move to the David Feldman-led Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship banner, however, at the time of publication, a deal between both parties has yet to be struck. 

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Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.