Diego Sanchez, who held the longest interrupted tenure in the active roster of the UFC was released on the 29th of April, last week. He had been a part of the UFC since 2005. The decision came as a surprise since he had a bout scheduled against Donald Cerrone on the 8th of May.
Things escalated quickly after Diego Sanchez’s coach Joshua Fabia had asked the UFC for each and every medical record of Diego Sanchez since his debut (16 years ago). The UFC then further inquired about this and learned from Sanchez’s lawyer that Sanchez can’t ensure that his health was not compromised. That was when the UFC decided to release him immediately.
Sanchez recently opened up on this on Instagram Live. Right from receiving a text message from Sean Shelby asking him to reply to Hunter Campbell, the chief legal officer of the UFC, to his exit, he explained it all in the long live session.
‘So basically you’re being forced, being bullied into waiving your medical rights‘ – Diego Sanchez
Here is what Sanchez said, “Final twelve days leading into the fight, I got a text message from Sean Shelby. It was a message saying, ‘Diego, you need to check your email, because Hunter sent you an email, and it’s extremely important that you read this email and respond to this email by tomorrow, or the fight is going to be cancelled.”
He continued, “UFC wanted me to state that I am not experiencing any neurological issues and that I have no long-term health side effects from fighting a career of (16) years in the UFC. My advisers told me, ‘Basically what they’re trying to do is, right before you finish your last fight, they’re trying to make sure they have documentation of you saying that you never sustained anything.”
From his lawyer and advisers, Sanchez got to know that he was being forced and bullied into waiving his own medical rights. Speaking about which, he said:
“So basically you’re being forced, being bullied into waiving your medical rights, possible (UFC) medical liabilities.’ With that being said, the email was sent to Hunter, and the response was very fast. … The letter said they have chosen to pay me 100 percent for the fight, show money, win money, and sponsorship money.” [via MMA Junkie]
‘Dana White won’t answer my calls now‘ – Diego Sanchez
Sanchez then said, “Why, when this has already been done, do I have to state this, state that? Yeah, my manager did ask for my list of medicals from throughout my career. I’ve had a lot of injuries. I want to have my history. This is my medical history. I want to have it on file. I want to have what the UFC has. It’s my medical health, right?
He literally had no hope in the UFC, a dejected Sanchez then said, “And as far as I’m concerned, I don’t feel like, after I’m done, if (UFC president) Dana White won’t answer my calls now, won’t let me have a meeting now, once I’m done and I’m out of the UFC, do you think I’m gonna be able to get a hold of anybody? Do you think anything’s gonna go through? No, nothing’s gonna go through. I’m never gonna get sh*t from them.” [via MMA Junkie]
He concluded, “If this was the case, I wouldn’t be sticking by his side, having his back. The truth of the whole matter is me and him having each other’s back against a billion-dollar monopoly world-wide organization.” [via MMA Junkie]
It is sad to see someone like Diego Sanchez leave the organization without any farewell fight. He would have had one, had the UFC decided to release him, at least after the fight. But now The TUF season 1 winner has no other option, but to go.
Hopefully he will find some other promotion which suits him, or possibly even retire. (whatever rocks the boat for him!)