diego-sanchez-ufc.jpg
Getty Images

Diego Sanchez, former title challenger and winner of Season 1 of The Ultimate Fighter, has been released from the UFC after more than 15 years competing for the promotion. The news comes on the heels of the UFC removing Sanchez from his planned May 8 bout with Donald Cerrone for what was termed as undisclosed reasons.

After Sanchez posted a message on Instagram declaring he was "free at last," tagging multiple fight promotions, UFC president Dana White confirmed the news before targeting Sanchez trainer Joshua Fabia.

"I have an incredible, amazing relationship with Diego and I like him very much and I hope he is OK," White told Yahoo Sports. "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 f---ing 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 batshit nuts. He worked his way into Diego's life and has gotten control over him. I just want the best for Diego."

Can't get enough boxing and MMA? Get the latest in the world of combat sports from two of the best in the business. Subscribe to Morning Kombat with Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell for the best analysis and in-depth news.

Sanchez released video of the production meeting in question, showing Sanchez and Fabia taking issue with the commentary in his fight with Michael Chiesa, which Sanchez lost by unanimous decision. Sanchez and Fabia suggested the commentary team had treated him unfairly before turning their attention to criticism of Fabia's training methods.

Fabia's training methods have come under fire for seemingly largely being unattached to the sport itself and Sanchez has become a vocal promoter of Fabia's "School of Self-Awareness" while turning in increasingly odd performances in the cage, urged on by corner advice such as "V-drill, v-drill. Think of the shadow and if it gets tight, get sticky and take it to the ground."