Joshua Fabia, the head coach of former UFC lightweight title challenger and The Ultimate Fighter 1 victor, Diego Sanchez has leaked an almost seven-minute long phone call between himself and UFC lawyer and Chief Business Officer, Hunter Campbell, in which the latter expresses his concern over Fabia’s formal request to obtain Sanchez’s medical history throughout his time with the promotion.
Albuquerque veteran, Sanchez, was scheduled to take co-main event status at UFC Vegas 26 on May 8th in Las Vegas, Nevada, in a proposed retirement fight against former Jackson-Wink MMA teammate, Donald Cerrone.
Reports emerged earlier this week that Sanchez had been removed from his planned retirement outing against Cerrone, however, at the time, the reasons for the bout’s shelving remained undisclosed.
Over the last forty-eight hours, reports detailed that Sanchez had officially been released from his contract with the UFC following a sixteen-year stay.
Posting on his official Instagram story, New Mexico native, Sanchez detailed that he was “free at last” — alluding to a release from the promotion, before appearing to offer his services to Bellator MMA, ONE Championship, Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship, and Brave CF.
Per a report from Kevin Iole from Yahoo! Sports — Sanchez was officially released from his UFC contract after Sanchez’s head trainer, Fabia, as well as Sanchez’s attorney Charles N. Larkens, failed to confirm when prompted, if Sanchez was suffering from any long or short-term medical issues.
In the conversation posted, Campbell expresses his concern about Fabia’s request for the medical history of Sanchez, detailing how he had to make sure Sanchez was both mentally and physically prepared for his upcoming fight with Cerrone — detailing how he cannot let Sanchez enter the Octagon if he doesn’t “feel 100% percent“.
“The direct quote I received was, you (Joshua Fabia) stated that the quote ‘long-term effects of Diego being an MMA fighter were your basis for requesting it,” Campbell said. “So I went through this with Mark Hunt, and here’s the reality: If you’re concerned or (Sanchez is) concerned that he’s having negative effects, then we’re not going to fight him and I’m going to pull the fight right now and we’re going to call it a day and we’ll release him and he can go do something else with his life, because I’m not putting anybody in that cage that doesn’t feel 100 per cent or thinks they’re suffering from any medical issues.“
Whilst Campbell was certainly notified when Fabia requested Sanchez’s medical records, Fabia maintains he was hopeful of receiving the records in order to determine if Sanchez would require medical attention when his career comes to an end.
“Well, it has more to do with how is his (Diego Sanchez’s) physical body, and all the treatments that he’s had over 17 years of injuries in his hands, his face, and all over his body that I’m referring to,” Fabia replied to Campbell. “If he needs medical attention after his career, how is he supposed to move on without medical records. That’s what I’m concerned about. That’s all it is. If he has to go see another doctor about his hip or his back or any of these things, how is that doctor — why would we have to pay for new imaging, new everything, when it should be on file? I don’t understand what the problem is.“
During the conversation, Campbell explained that he was going to send an email to Fabia and Sanchez, detailing how he needs to obtain confirmation that Sanchez is physically able to compete on May 8.
“Here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to send an email to you guys,” Campbell said. “I’m going to express my concerns. I need a confirmation in writing that he’s physically able to compete, he’s not suffered any ill effects of being an MMA fighter, he doesn’t feel like he has any brain issues or cognitive issues. I’ve got to go through the whole battery that I do with everybody that sort of makes a claim that at least they’re telling me that you made in this situation. And if he’s not comfortable doing that, then we pull the fight and we move on. It’s very simple.“
“… I can’t ever be in a situation where 10 years from now, I’ve got a guy that’s drooling on himself in a hospital, and I’ve got another guy saying, ‘Yeah, we told the UFC before his last fight that he was having all these issues and they put him in there anywhere,” Campbell explained.” (H/T MMA Junkie)
In a statement released to the above-mentioned, Iole, UFC president, Dana White expressed his concern that Fabia was controlling Sanchez, and that the trainer was “batsh*t nuts“.
“I have an incredible, amazing relationship with Diego (Sanchez) and I like him very much and I hope he is OK,” White said. “One of the sad things that happens, not just in fighting but in sports, and I want you to quote me on this, are these creepy weirdos who come from God knows where and leech onto fighters or athletes. They never do any good for them.“
“Somehow, this creep got into Diego’s life and has been controlling him,” White explained. “You saw the video of him chasing guys in the Octagon with a knife. How (expletive) nuts is that? He goes to the commission and tells them that he’s taught Diego this death touch. It goes on and on with this guy. He goes into the production meeting and tells the commentators what they should be saying? The guy is batsh*t nuts. He worked his way into Diego’s life and has gotten control over him. I just want the best for Diego.“