Former UFC lightweight challenger Diego Sanchez had an interesting take on the matter after a fan suggested that he might have brain damage.
Sanchez is the first ever winner of The Ultimate Fighter series and has competed in the UFC since 2004. The welterweight fighter is known for his tenacity and durability in his fight, having been involved in numerous wars throughout his career.
The 38-year old future Hall of Famer has been criticized in recent years for continuing to compete in the Octagon, despite having absorbed over 1000 shots to his head throughout his UFC career, including multiple knockout losses.
Some fans and media have speculated that Sanchez’s speech has changed in the recent years, potentially as a result of having Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) – a neurodegenerative disease caused by repeated head injuries.
The condition has affected many athletes across different contact sports, like boxing, hockey and American football.
However, Sanchez denies that he has CTE, even suggesting that he “might be the cure” for the condition:
“you think? how do you know you watch a movie? you read a artical? There is no proof of CTE just another mental weapon to effect the minds of he weak! Like a placebo effect in a negative way! I have no CTE or any signs of any brain damage am I talking like Nick Diaz no I’m speaking better than I ever have!!! Maybe I’m the cure for CTE! WAY OUTSIDE THE BOX” Sanchez responded to a fan.
Sanchez, who competed in the lightweight division for most of his professional MMA career has been fighting at welterweight since 2017.
In his last fight, he faced Michel Pereira at UFC Fight Night 167 on February 5, 2020. Sanchez was losing the fight on all of the judges scorecards, but eventually won the bout via DQ after Pereira landed an illegal knee on the ground in the 3rd-round, which rendered him unable to continue.
His trainer Joshua Fabio was heavily criticized for his corner advice during the fight. He later responded to the critics, stating that he believes Diego Sanchez demonstrated “Mayweather level defence” in his fight against Pereira.
This article first appeared on CLOSEDGUARDMEDIA.com on 29th March, 2020.