Diego Sanchez’s Interesting Advice From His Corner At UFC Rio Rancho

UFC Rio Rancho went down this past weekend in New Mexico. And for the first time ever on a UFC card, there were two disqualifications. In the co-main event, Diego Sanchez was awarded one of those disqualifications against Michel Pereira, after the Brazilian landed an illegal knee to the ‘Nightmare’ while he was grounded.

Up until the disqualification, Pereira had dominated the fight against the season one TUF winner. But if the second DQ of the night wasn’t a big enough talking point, a lot has been made of the advice Sanchez received between rounds from his one man corner team, Josh Fabia.

Although Fabia doesn’t have any martial arts experience, Sanchez refers to him as a ‘guru’. Much like their first fight together at UFC 239, where Diego was comfortably beaten by Michael Chiesa, Fabia again came under criticism at UFC Rio Rancho for his advice in the corner.

Below, you can find the transcript of Fabia’s corner advice to Sanchez (via Bloody Elbow):

Josh Fabia to Diego Sanchez between first and second round: “Five recovery breaths. Five recovery breaths.”

“Sip the water. Breathe in. Good.”

“Five recovery breaths! In the nose, out the mouth.”

“Listen carefully. Listen carefully. You are stopping your motion. Do not wait to see your work. I need forward, forward pressure. I need you to get off the line before you attack. Off the line before you attack.”

“Bee drill. Bee drill. Think of the shadow. Shadow!”

“I need you to get in. Get in, get behind. If it gets tight, if it gets sticky, take him to the ground.”

“Get on top. Give me some ride time. Give me some ground and pound.”


Top MMA coach Trevor Wittman was part of the broadcast in Rio Rancho and stated that he was confused by Fabia’s advice between rounds.

“Uhh. Strange. Listening to that last corner work was very strange,” Wittman stated. “I mean, I don’t know if it was code, or what, but he was talking about being tight and sticky, keep the movement, but don’t keep the movement like…This is…I’ve known Diego for a long period of time. This is just very strange to me.”

Having lost both of the first two rounds, Fabia told Sanchez that he needed to with the third round, having won the first.

Fabia to Sanchez between second and third round: “Listen to me. You need to go, alright? You need to go. I need to see you go swinging. You know why? Because you’ve got nothing to lose now.”

“He just won that round with that throw. You had the other round on points, on contact. Alright?”

Sanchez: “Okay. Yup.”

Fabia: “So you’ve got to get a takedown. You’ve got to hold him down. You’ve got to work this motherf***er over. You hear me?”

Sanchez: “Yes. Yes, sir.”

Fabia: “You’ve got to do your f***ing job. Get to work. Alright?”

Sanchez: “Yes, sir.”

Fabia: “Quit acting like you don’t know how to do it. Do not let him trigger you —” (audio cuts off as broadcast shows replays)


Sanchez was again losing the third round and got dropped towards the end of the round, before Pereira landed the illegal knee. This was the conversation between Diego and referee Jason Herzog:

Herzog: “He got kneed in the head while he was down. The doctor is right here, he’s going to look at you.”

Sanchez: “He kneed me while I was down?”

Herzog: “Yes.”

Herzog: “We’re looking at this right now. Doctor is going to look at this cut.”

Herzog to officials: “Give me a towel!”

Sanchez: (Inaudible, shaking his head to doctor)

Herzog: (Walks over to Pereira) “He was down. He was on his knees! No! You cannot knee.”

Herzog: (Walks back to Sanchez) “How are we doing?”

Sanchez: “That was an illegal shot.”

Herzog: “Yeah, yeah. You have a little time, sir. Take your time right here.”

(Herzog gives towel to doctor, who wipes off all the blood)

Herzog to outside official: “Sir, I’m trying to give him a little time now. Doctor says the cut is okay. He was illegally kneed while he was down. I’m trying to give him as much time to see if he can continue.”

Doctor to Herzog: “He says he can’t see out of that eye.”

Herzog: “Do you need some more time here? Let’s give you a little time. If you can continue, we’ll let you continue. (inaudible) We’ll give you a couple more seconds, okay?”

(Inaudible, doctor and Herzog briefly speak.)

Herzog: “We have some time here. When you’re ready, if you want to continue.”

Sanchez: “Is it a DQ if I can’t continue?”

Herzog: “I’ll take it up with the commission and we’ll go through all the protocols. But just let me know if you want to continue or not. This is the final round for you, you were illegally kneed while you were down.”

Sanchez: “Can you bring in my coach?”

Herzog: “No, we can’t. You can’t have a coach. You just tell me if you want to continue or not.”

(Sanchez shakes head)

Herzog: “Just tell me and I can give you some time. You can’t continue?”

Sanchez: “No. It was an illegal shot. I can’t see, the blood (points to eye) I can’t see. It was an illegal shot, man. It was an illegal shot.”


Sanchez was then awarded the fight, via disqualification.

Last year, Diego left JacksonWink MMA Academy, having spent the majority of his career training at the renowned gym in Albuquerque, citing the reason that he was no longer receiving the respect and attention he deserved. Sanchez has been with him one man band, Josh Fabia, ever since. Fabia is the founder of the ‘School of Self Awareness’.

During the fight, several fighters tweeted about Fabia’s unique cornering.

And just moments ago, Cub Swanson posed this question on Twitter:

What were your thoughts on Josh Fabia’s cornering of Diego Sanchez at UFC Rio Rancho?


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