diego-sanchez.jpg
Getty Images

Former longtime UFC lightweight and welterweight Diego Sanchez is in the hospital battling COVID-19, according to his social media.

Sanchez, 39, began sharing his complications with the virus last week when he recommended an antibody treatment, one which health officials have said can be effective but should not be prioritized over getting vaccinated.

"If you qualify for Regeneron antibodies they work it's only been six hours and I'm feeling better," Sanchez wrote on Nov. 19. "Do not wait if you get the virus it only gets worse...

"I feel like a Navy SEAL in sleep deprivation hell week! Another sleepless night, my body is cleaning out all the poison," he continued. "The antibodies are working. I'm told three days is all it takes for most people."

Sanchez gave fans a troubling update on his condition on Thursday, revealing he developed pneumonia and blood clots in both legs.

"Blood clots now! COVID is no motha f-----' joke," Sanchez shared on Thursday. "Blood clots in both my legs."

Sanchez (30-13) has competed in MMA dating back to 2002. He defeated Kenny Florian in the middleweight finals of UFC's inaugural season of TUF to kick off a lengthy 15-year run with the promotion. He unsuccessfully challenged legendary champion B.J. Penn for the UFC lightweight title in 2009. His Octagon tenure includes notable wins over Nick Diaz, Clay Guida, Joe Stevenson, Takanori Gomi and Jim Miller.

Sanchez was released by the UFC earlier this year over health concerns. Sanchez, at the time, was affiliated with controversial MMA trainer Joshua Fabia, whose unorthodox approach to training, coaching and general conduct drew criticism from fans and figures in the sport. Sanchez parted ways with Fabia in May and was in talks for a debut with bare-knuckle boxing promotion BKFC before his COVID-19 diagnosis.