Diego Sanchez splits from manager and coach Joshua Fabia

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Diego Sanchez’s professional relationship with controversial figure Joshua Fabia has come to an end.

Sanchez, the former UFC veteran and winner of “The Ultimate Fighter 1,” is no longer working with Fabia, who’s served as his coach and manager these past few years. The news of their split was reported Thursday by MMA Fighting, which received word from Sanchez and his attorney, Charles Lakins, who added that Sanchez cut business ties with Fabia.

Sanchez (30-13) began working with Fabia, owner of the School of Self-Awareness, prior to his Mickey Gall bout in March 2019. The two worked together for four UFC bouts, with Sanchez going 2-2 in those fights.

Over the years, Fabia began making headlines because of his unorthodox training methods, confrontations with UFC staff and other fighters, among other things. Most infamously, Fabia was a protagonist in Sanchez’s unceremonious release from the UFC last month.

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Sanchez, 39, was scheduled to fight fellow veteran and former Jackson Wink MMA teammate Donald Cerrone on May 8 at UFC on ESPN 24 but was pulled from the bout and replaced by Alex Morono. Later it was revealed the the UFC had terminated Sanchez’s contract after Fabia requested Sanchez’s medical records history with the company. The request sparked concern over Sanchez’s health from UFC officials, who asked to confirm that Sanchez was not suffering from any long-term medical injuries or conditions before he fought on May 8. Sanchez and Fabia didn’t confirm and thus the UFC terminated his contract.

According to MMA Fighting, Sanchez is supposed to make an official announcement on the split with Fabia next week.

Sanchez competed in the UFC from 2005 to 2021. He’s a former UFC title challenger, having competed for the UFC lightweight belt against then-champion B.J. Penn in 2009. He lost the fight by fifth-round TKO.