Longtime UFC veteran Diego Sanchez is one of the most respected fighters in the UFC, having been with the promotion since winning the UFC Ultimate Fighter 1.
Isaac “The Shermanator” Marquez has down syndrome and has been training alongside many of the members of Team Jackson-Winklejohn for quite awhile now.
Marquez’s dream has always been to have an MMA fight and Sanchez helped make The Shermanator’s dream come true.
This past weekend in Albuquerque, New Mexico, it was Sanchez versus Marquez for championship.
In the case of Marquez, victory came the way of The Shermanator in the form of an arm bar, which forced the longtime UFC veteran to tap out.
Sanchez took to Instagram to share the special moment with his longtime friend and adversary:
Derrick Montoya was cage side at the event and he posted video of the special encounter on Facebook:
In an interview with KRQE, Sanchez explained why he was helping his friend’s dream come true:
“Most down syndrome adults don’t live past 45. Isaac is 32, and I just wanted to see this young man be healthy. Exercise and martial arts are one of the most healthy things you can do.”
The UFC veteran has suffered 11 losses as a professional MMA fighter and just 1 in exhibition bouts, but it is the 1 that the fighter will proudly remember the most.