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It is the end of an era for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, as no more
members of the inaugural season of “The Ultimate Fighter” are on
the roster.

Perennial contender and longtime fan-favorite Diego
Sanchez
(30-13) was booked against Donald
Cerrone
(36-15, 2 NC) in the co-main event of
UFC on ESPN 24
, where “The Nightmare” was slated to have his
retirement bout against a former training partner at welterweight.
Sanchez
unexpectedly withdrew
from the bout on Wednesday with no
explanation given, and he took to Instagram to air his grievances
with the promotion. After a now-deleted Instagram Stories post
where he claimed he was a free agent, the UFC confirmed to Yahoo
Sports
on Thursday night that Sanchez was indeed released,
via
a letter
Sanchez was sent on April 27.

Sanchez posted a few videos on his Instagram
account on Thursday showing disagreements that his coach Joshua
Fabia had with the commentary team, where Fabia believed that the
organization was attempting to slight Sanchez with its coverage.
Among his claims were that the UFC was aiming cameras at him to
catch him and Sanchez in bad situations, or otherwise expose
Fabia’s unorthodox coaching style. Fabia’s infamous training
sessions have been widely covered since Sanchez started working
with him, including Fabia chasing
his fighters around with a knife
. Fabia, who claims
he has “certifications in martial arts, personal training, several
military fields, stretch training, breathing and more,” has never
authenticated his training credentials.

The legendary Sanchez won the first season of TUF by tapping out
Kenny
Florian
at middleweight. “The Nightmare” – once briefly known
as “The Dream” – will end his UFC tenure with a record of 19-13,
having fought for the lightweight crown against B.J. Penn in
2009. Winner of eight post-fight bonuses including one from a bout
against Clay Guida
that earned induction for both men into the UFC Hall of Fame,
Sanchez leaves behind an over 16-year legacy with some of the
better fights to take place in company history. The original TUF
winner celebrates a litany of wins wins in his career, which
includes names like Takanori
Gomi
, Nick Diaz,
Jim
Miller
and the aforementioned Florian.


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