If Diego Sanchez needs him, Dana White says he knows how to get in touch with him.
According to White, he’s never had a problem with the “The Ultimate Fighter 1” middleweight winner – despite all the drama that has ensued in recent weeks. While Sanchez (30-13) recently claimed White won’t return his calls, the UFC president said the opposite is true. The “TUF 1” cast holds a special place in White’s heart.
“Diego Sanchez can pick up the phone and call me – any of those ‘TUF (1)’ kids. You know what I mean?” White told Yahoo Sports on Wednesday. “I had a falling out a few years ago with Josh Koscheck. If Josh Koscheck picked up the phone and called me, I would talk to Josh Koscheck. If any of those kids needed me, all they’ve got to do is pick up the phone and call me.”
No matter where Sanchez goes from here, White will always consider him a major player in the company’s ascent to greatness. Sanchez competed 32 times for the promotion over the span of a 15-year career that dated back to 2005. He was part of the influential inaugural season of “The Ultimate Fighter” that White alluded to that rose the promotion from the ashes of debt.
“Diego Sanchez, this will always be his house,” White said. “He will always be a part of the history of this company. As long as I’m here, he’ll always be respected for what he’s done for the UFC and ‘The Ultimate Fighter.’ I don’t really follow any of that sh*t. I don’t really follow any of that sh*t. I don’t really care what anybody says. When I tell you I don’t give a f*ck, I could not be more honest when I tell you I don’t give a f*ck. I love Diego Sanchez. I always will. If Diego needs me, all he needs to do is pick up the phone.”
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In late April, Sanchez announced he’d been released from the UFC, which the promotion later confirmed. The departure came after months of controversial events behind the scenes and in the public eye pertaining to Sanchez’s coach at the time, Joshua Fabia.
This past week, Sanchez announced he’d parted ways with Fabia, who in turn publicly criticized his former fighter shortly thereafter. While Fabia was removed from Sanchez’s circle, White is unsure it changes anything pertaining to a future “farewell fight.” White said he didn’t like the idea of Sanchez vs. Donald Cerrone, which was on the books at the time of Sanchez’s departure.
“I don’t know,” White said. “I honestly don’t know. Even when we were doing his farewell fight, I didn’t love the fact that he’s still fighting. No matter what I do, if I let Diego go, he’ll probably end up somewhere else. You know what I mean? That’s what I was thinking at the time. I love the kid. He wanted one more fight (and) I was going to give it to him. Then, all hell broke loose, and here we are today.”
Photos: Diego Sanchez through the years
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