The middleweight winner of the original season of The Ultimate Fighter Diego Sanchez has been released by the UFC.
The news was first reported by Yahoo! Sports' Kevin Iole who detailed that the promotion became increasingly concerned with Sanchez's coach Joshua Fabia's behavior towards UFC personnel and after Sanchez failed to give clarification on his health. UFC President Dana White said the following to Iole about the decision to release Sanchez and his feelings on Fabia.
“I have an incredible, amazing relationship with Diego 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. 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 [fighter-broadcaster] production meeting and tells the commentators what they should be saying? The guy is bats*** nuts. He worked his way into Diego’s life and has gotten control over him. I just want the best for Diego.”
Sanchez who is a veteran of 30+ fights inside of the Octagon posted an Instagram story saying "Free at last. Free at last," tagging various MMA promotions in the post. He then posted the following two-part video to his Instagram showing a production meeting he had with UFC commentators before UFC 253. It shows Fabia arguing and berating broadcasters Jon Anik and Megan Olivi, as well as UFC fighters, turned analysts Paul Felder and Angela Hill.