Joshua Fabia, the founder of The School of Self Awareness has spoken publicly for the first time since he was relieved of his professional duties with former UFC lightweight title challenger, Diego Sanchez last week — and has aimed some notable accusations toward both Sanchez, the promotion, and the Nevada State Athletic Commission — as well as claiming he’s the one who has been taken advantage of.
The hugely controversial Fabia, who was acting as Sanchez’s head coach and manager amongst a slew of other positions according to himself, seen his professional dealings with the Albuquerque native end last week, after Sanchez confirmed he had cut ties him.
Hitting the headlines over the course of the last couple of months, Fabia, who first rose to prominence in Sanchez’s corner ahead of UFC 239 in July of 2019, has been criticized wholly by the majority of the MMA community, who have questioned his bizarre training methods — which included him punching snd kicking the head and body of an inverted Sanchez in a “body hardening” exercise, as well as his continued leaking of conversations with UFC Chief Business Officer and lawyer, Hunter Campbell, as well as the organization’s broadcast team.
Appearing with Sanchez during his pre-fight meeting with the broadcast team during fight week last October on ‘Fight Island’, Fabia called for the likes of the recently retired, Paul Felder, play-by-play mainstay, Jon Anik, and roving reporter, Megan Olivi to “cut the bullsh*t” on the broadcast, and to stop attempting to paint the narrative that Sanchez was ruining his legacy.
Leaking a conversation with the aforementioned, Campbell, Fabia had requested Sanchez’s entire medical history during his 16-year stint with the UFC, which drew some calls for concern from Campbell who explained that he couldn’t let Sanchez compete in his proposed May 8th. retirement fight against Donald Cerrone if he wasn’t feeling “100%“.
Campbell explained to Fabia that he would need confirmation that Sanchez wasn’t suffering from neither short nor long-term effects in regards to his health and wellbeing, which Fabia confirmed he would take care of. When the request failed to be honoured, Sanchez was removed from the fight with Cerrone and handed his release from the UFC.
Speaking for the first time since his split from Sanchez last week, Fabia claimed that he believes the Nevada State Athletic Commission, as well as the UFC, attempted to strong-arm Sanchez into throwing a UFC 239 fight against Michael Chiesa, after they had confronted Sanchez over an apparent “death choke” Fabia is alleged to have taught him.
“So, this moment happens where the Nevada State Athletic Commission comes in and leans on Diego (Sanchez), and he has to throw a f*cking fight,” Fabia said during a recent interview on Behind The Scenes with Summer Helene. “Now, I have them recorded… You go watch the fight (with Michael Chiesa), and it’s the only fight in Diego Sanchez’s history that he never threw a punch.“
“The way that they did it, is in the lean, which is in talking to somebody and dangling their license and explaining,” Fabia explained. “‘Are you really trying to hurt this man? You’re not trying to hurt him, are you Diego? You’re a sportsman, Diego. You’ve always been a good guy, Diego. You’re not gonna do anything with malicious intent, are you Diego?’“
Sanchez, according to Fabia had been focusing largely on his striking for the majority of the fight camp, which has since left Fabia bemused as to why he elected to wrestle with the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace, Chiesa.
“Then on top of it, the last time Diego was a “sportsman”, he was a wrestler,” Fabia said. “So the first thing he comes out and does is goes and takes this guy’s (Michael Chiesa) leg. And he never throws a punch.“
“So, you tell me,” Fabia explained. “How come my fighter that’s been training for ten weeks to strike, didn’t throw a strike?“
Fabia would go on to claim that he has been acting as Sanchez’s sponsor, detailing how the New Mexico is dealing with substance abuse issues, including dependency on Kratom and alcohol, before claiming he has been taken advantage of by Sanchez over the last two years.
“This is not, at all, what anyone who perceived, and Diego is not anywhere near what anybody knows, man. And Diego has been an addict. He hasn’t told anybody for the past five months. I was his sponsor living with him. That I had to live there because he was broke and lost all his money, and strung out on Kratom and alcohol and thirty other substances. That he had sexual abuse issues. No, he didn’t say any of that, man. And I’ve been holding up all this. I’ve been doing everything. And everybody’s coming at me.“
“I’ll put it out there, I’ll put out all the proof, I’ll put out all the videos, man,” Fabia explained. “Diego has clearly been taking advantage of me for two years, as I have been fighting for him, and putting myself on the line for him with zero benefit. I am the one getting death threats here.” (H/T Bloody Elbow)
Senior writer for FightBook MMA. An aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Producer of news articles, interviews, opinion features, and exclusive features such as, ‘The Fallout’, ‘The Breakdown, and, ‘This Week In MMA’.
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