Joshua Fabia warned NAC prior to UFC 239 that Diego Sanchez might kill Michael Chiesa
While Joshua Fabia has been front and center in the MMA world since last weekend’s UFC Rio Rancho event, the School of Self-Awareness founder made his way to the UFC’s radar much sooner.
According to three people who spoke to MMA Junkie on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to publicly discuss such matters, Fabia’s work with Diego Sanchezwas brought to the attention of both the Nevada Athletic Commission and UFC officials in the hours ahead of UFC 239 – and the 15-year UFC veteran’s fight with Michael Chiesawas nearly canceled as a result.
UFC 239 took place last July at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Unbeknownst to either fans or media in attendance, sources revealed that, as Sanchez got his hands wrapped in a shared locker room, NAC officials noticed Fabia was burning incense and asked him to stop. Additionally, an NAC inspector reported Fabia had taken a Q-tip dipped in an unknown substance and inserted it into Sanchez’s nose, prompting commission officials’ concern.
The substance turned out to be a peppermint extract, utilized in hope of opening Sanchez’s airways. NAC officials determined it was not a reason to intervene.
However, at that time, Fabia offered additional information.
Sanchez’s current manager and trainer, who has served as his lone cornerman in each of his past two UFC appearances, said that the attending referee needed to be warned ahead of the fight that Chiesa was in danger of being killed in the octagon.
Fabia told commission officials that he and Sanchez had been working on a choke so brutal, that if he was to apply it to his opponent, the bout should be waved off immediately so as to prevent Chiesa from either death or paralysis.
Fabia was asked to demonstrate the move, which was described to MMA Junkie as a technique that started as a standing guillotine choke but then would see Sanchez rotate his shoulders so that his opponent’s head was braced above his shoulder before slamming down to the floor and breaking his foe’s neck (described in practice as something akin to the professional wrestling move known as the “Stone Cold Stunner”).