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The UFC Rio Rancho After Action Report

What’s really going on here? A mixed martial arts legend once advised his listening audience to just talk about what they see and within the immediate landscape of the mixed martial arts playing field I see an 800-pound gorilla in the room that the media refuses to confront in a cut throat industry wrought with the kind of corruption one would expect to find in Gotham city. From fixed fights to numerous and regular judging irregularities, there is ample enough reason within mixed martial arts to suspect the bodies hanging from the chain link fence have now become skeletons in the closet.

“Did you guys see Diego Sanchez’s fight over the weekend?” asked ESPN MMA analyst Chael Sonnen in his February 19, 2020 Bad Guy Inc. YouTube video titled, “Diego Sanchez did nothing wrong….” According to the report, “So, whether you did or you didn’t, lets recap real fast. Diego gets kneed illegally, he’s down, takes a knee to the face. Referee stops it, calls it illegal, takes a point and then comes over to talk to Diego. Diego says something along the lines, ‘Hey, I’m having a hard time seeing or I’m seeing double,’ or whatever the vision issue was. The referee is now instructed at that point, he now no longer needs Diego’s opinion. He now no longer needs to say, ‘Hey Diego, do you want to continue. Yes, or no?’ The referee now has enough information to make the call on his own,” explained Sonnen.

“Diego’s hands are completely clean on this. Completely,” Sonnen insisted. “And anybody who thinks he quit or stopped or tried to maneuver here, I just want to share with you some of the back story. I highly doubt that Diego knew what was going to happen if Diego said, ‘I cannot continue.’”

“Evidence of that, I would just go back to the Weidman-Mousasi fight where everybody including myself assumed that Mousasi was going to be disqualified. Turns out, not only was he not disqualified, it wasn’t even a no contest. Mousasi wins via TKO. We just didn’t know; we don’t see these situations very often. Diego came out and said, ‘I most certainly did not quit, that was a veteran move by me, because I do understand the procedures and policies and that guy cheated!’” recounted Sonnen.

“I’m on Diego’s side on this completely,” said Sonnen who went on to relay a story about the UFC pressuring fighters to continue fighting after serious fouls despite the fact that in the history of the UFC, according to Sonnen, only one fighter has got up off the canvas after a serious foul and went on to win the fight.

“The truth is, I’m only here because Jackson-Wink didn’t do their damn job,” an obviously frustrated and defensive Joshua Fabia told MMA analyst Luke Thomas in his February 19, 2020 YouTube video titled, “Joshua Fabia, Diego Sanchez’s Coach, Speaks Out After Taking Criticism.” According to Fabia, “Diego had been not evolving or able to develop in any new way through that state due to no one giving him any time, energy or actual training.”

Focusing on Fabia’s relationship with Sanchez, Thomas went on to put Joshua on trial by delivering a number of questions centered around his role as Diego’s sole coach, trainer, manager, physical therapist and nutritionist. Including, but not limited to questioning Fabia’s role as Sanchez’s manager, the scientific rigor behind his training methods, his qualifications combatively to corner someone for a high level mixed martial arts fight and the efficacy Fabia’s proprietary role in the training process.

Recognizing the situation for what it was, Fabia went on to note the ridicule he was receiving in the face of the line of questioning Thomas was asking and seemed to focus on UFC commentator Joe Rogan for poisoning the well in how he is viewed in the public’s eye as the root origin of much of the criticism and “dogging” he has is receiving both online and in the mixed martial arts media.

“You poison the minds of the people and this is why you’re asking these questions instead of asking the questions that should be asked,” explained Fabia.

“Like what?” an incredulous Thomas asked.

“Like what? Like why is the ref asking Diego anything? If you are, if you look at the rules, it is an automatic DQ no matter if there’s a split, no matter what. Earlier in the event, there was a DQ, nobody needed to ask anybody anything,” explained Fabia in what is a discrepancy in the rule enforcement worthy of note.
“The rule is only a ref or the commissioner can make the call, and that’s the call of the DQ. That’s not the call that the fighter can continue to fight, like its either DQ or not,” explained Fabia.

The fact he is aware of the rules and Thomas is apparently not worthy of note considering its Fabia who has been forced to work off his back foot from virtually the beginning of the interview in justifying his involvement in mixed martial arts. Otherwise, the direction of this and other interviews with Fabia could have went into a much different direction than attacking the credibility of someone who has just as much right to be in mixed martial arts as any of the charlatans and frauds masquerading as mixed martial arts talking heads and opinion makers while drawing a paycheck.

“So, then you put Diego on the spot,” Fabia explained in stating the obvious.

“This is a hall of famer, an active hall of famer, you put him on the spot in a fight that he was supposed to lose, in a spot that he’s supposed to lose, and now in his hometown where he’s supposed to be fucking slaughtered, and it’s obvious when Cormier is talking the language of a slaughter and nobody can see the amazing performance that Diego is actually doing fighting this giant that he’s supposed to lose to, that nobody wants to fight, okay,” said Fabia in yet another direction the mixed martial arts media could have went in the aftermath of UFC Rio Rancho but instead choose to pursue a line of questioning inherent to a witch hunt within mixed martial arts ranks.

“So why, why is the UFC or whomever is requesting this piece of information to push forward in the media in the days after the fight to slander Diego Sanchez’s legacy, not to mention the USADA shit, not to mention like three monsters in a row, can Diego Sanchez get a fair fucking fight?” asked Fabia.

Which is a fair question to ask in light of the MMAPressRoom.com’s recent article titled, “Black Propaganda: The Psychology of the Combat Sports Entertainment Industry,” where the idea of the UFC using viral marketing companies on social media to target their opposition was explored. According to the report, “And one last thing on this,” The MMA Beat host and current ESPN MMA analyst Ariel Helwani was quoted as saying.

“I’ve noticed, because you know we’ve been very Bellator centric on this show, my show, at the press conference on Tuesday, and I’ve seen just so many negative comments from fans, quote-unquote “fans” online, and people have been telling me for a year or so, that Zuffa pays people to go on line and disparage the competition,” explained Helwani.

“Astroturfing is what it’s called,” interjected Helwani’s then co-host Luke Thomas in the March 30, 2017 MMAFightingonSBN YouTube video titled, “The MMA Beat: Episode 143.” And coincidentally enough, as luck would have it this information seems to match up perfectly with Fabia asking Thomas about why the UFC is pushing information to slander Diego’s legacy in light of the smear campaign against the Sanchez camp both online and within the mixed martial arts media ranks. Begging the question, exactly how much of the negative online feedback concerning Fabia and Sanchez is genuine and how easily is the mixed martial arts media coerced into doing the 800-pound gorilla’s bidding?

“Like, what’s going on? Can we not slaughter Diego on national, like on ESPN in his home fucking town?” asked Fabia in pointing out the obvious squash match designed to put Pereira over to the general mixed martial arts viewing public as the next big thing.

“And nobody thinks this is rude? Nobody is bringing attention to the five minutes that Pereira, Pereira’s being booed for getting a championship fucking walk out man?” asked Fabia.

“And nobody told us, ‘Hey uh, you have to do something special you know. Like, hey, do whatever.’ Nobody said nothing.  And you notice we just walk out. Like what’s going on here? So, clearly everything’s been set up for Pereira to kill Diego on national television, like on television, like it’s crazy. And nobody is like, ‘Yeah dude, that was crazy unfair,” and somehow Diego survived that onslaught but his coach and cornering is weird and strange?” Fabia explained in stating the apparently not so obvious.

“What’s really going on my friend?” Fabia again asked Luke Thomas.

“I’m not calling you a joke,” explained Thomas after Fabia went on to describe the treatment that he has received both online and from the mixed martial arts media over the course of his short career with Sanchez.  

“I’m just simply saying if the match with Pereira is too much, he’s too big, isn’t that job of the manager to be like, ‘We don’t think this is a good fight for him?” asked Thomas.

“Yeah. Yeah, that would be an obvious. That is what I said. But also, you’re not in the situation that we’re in. It’s an in between contract situation, we are under a different type of pressure, you know?” explained Fabia in a fair point Thomas seemed to take into consideration and understand.

This line of questioning alone perfectly illustrating the ultimate point Fabia was trying to make. While the doubting Thomas is attempting to underscore Fabia’s ineptitude in managing mixed martial arts fighters, Fabia instead lays out a perfectly acceptable and rather obvious answer as to why Diego would have accepted a fight under such unfavorable circumstances and conditions. There is nothing out of the ordinary about his answer, in fact they are what one would expect from a new manager to mixed martial arts attempting to make their way through a cut through industry full of lions, hyenas and thieves.

It is widely known that turning down fights in the UFC is frowned upon, the plight of UFC prospect Yair Rodriguez being released from the promotion for turning down fights and ostracized as a coward online being just one such example, yet the line of questioning Fabia received throughout the entire Luke Thomas interview was one in which Fabia was put on trial, put on the defensive and forced to work off his back foot in an attempt to justify his existence within the world of mixed martial arts.

With contract negotiations being on the table, whether or not Sanchez is coming off a win or a loss absolutely matters in the world of combat sports. And as luck would have it, coincidentally enough Sanchez was contracted to fight in a squash match against an opponent who cuts 38.5 pounds in order to make the welterweight limit in a fight that Sanchez was supposed to lose, yet still managed to win.

And his manager, Joshua Fabia, who is no doubt privileged to the contract negotiation process is now front and center in a smear campaign after Sanchez managed to pull a rabbit out of a hat against a fighter the UFC obviously has high hopes for. And considering Sanchez is still an active UFC hall of fame fighter, the cost of keeping Sanchez around, tied up under contract throughout the duration of the remainder of his career was likely just made significantly higher, cutting into the UFC’s future plans and bottom line. The public lambasting serving to diminish Sanchez’s market value going forward in protecting the promotions image should the UFC Hall of Famer sign with Bellator or another rival promotion and continue to lose.

Without question, Fabia has faced a trial-by-fire from the mixed martial arts media and in the eyes of public opinion according to a February 17, 2020 MMAFighting.com article titled, “Diego Sanchez and his coach blast media for ‘smear campaign’ following UFC Rio Rancho.” According to the report, “Cormier was confused after hearing Fabia tell the veteran lightweight that he won the first round despite Pereira clearly controlling the action throughout,” highlighting where just some of the criticism from Sanchez’s corner originally started at UFC Rio Rancho.  

On a professional level, judging from the comments Fabia made during the Luke Thomas interview it seems apparent that even Fabia himself recognizes the fact that individuals like Forrest Griffin or Tristan Connelly, Pereira’s previous opponent who Fabia brought in to train with Diego prior to UFC Rio Rancho, are individuals far better suited to help Sanchez prepare for his UFC mixed martial arts bouts than Fabia himself would be able to do alone.

On a human level, I am a bit disgusted and turned off by how elements of the mixed martial arts media and the online social media goon squads have actively looked to put Fabia and Sanchez on their backfoot following the UFC Rio Rancho event. The patronizing attitude towards the Sanchez camp while looking down their noses at these individuals is sickening and the kind of behavior that I would expect from those who are in fact themselves insecure about their own standing within the mixed martial arts community. And considering many of these MMA journalists have likely themselves been the target of black propaganda, these individuals should know better.

Time and time again the strange, weird and out of the ordinary routinely plague UFC events, as the media instead focuses on fallacy based, strawman side arguments designed to smoke screen and divert the truth and attention away from the real questions regularly surrounding these mixed martial arts events. With UFC 246, the media immediately focused on ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith’s post fight comments surrounding Donald Cerrone quitting instead of the numerous reports that surfaced prior to the event in the mixed martial arts media ranks that “Cowboy” was going to take a dive against Conor McGregor.

At UFC 247, a software program allegedly froze during the main event, one of many judging irregularities to plague UFC 247 that night, and to date this information has yet to make its way through the mainstream mixed martial arts media ranks. And now, instead of the media focusing on Sanchez being fed to the wolves at UFC Rio Rancho and investigating exactly why the referee was asking Diego Sanchez anything in the first place, the media’s attention is instead focused on discrediting Sanchez’s coach Joshua Fabia.

With a string of strange, weird and out of the ordinary events regularly occurring at UFC events, the media instead seems to be quite content with smoke screening the truth in focusing on anything but the integrity of the sport itself. The irony of which should not escape anyone in that it’s the media’s own ineptitude in bringing these topics and more to the forefront of the mixed martial arts community that highlights exactly who the real frauds in MMA are.

If you look closely, you will begin to see that the bodies hanging from the chain link fence have ultimately become the skeletons in mixed martial arts closet that nobody wants to talk about. In a cut throat industry wrought with corruption, the rumors of fixed fights and regular, persistent judging irregularities plaguing the sport speak to a problem endemic to mixed martial arts that the media itself would prefer to smoke screen with fallacy-based strawman positions rather than report on what they actually see. And with a near virtual media blackout on anything critical of the 800-pound gorilla in the room and the kind of corruption one would expect to see in Gotham city, it’s only fair to ask what’s really going on here?