Fabia’s fight fixing allegations could make UFC sue for defamation, again

Joshua Fabia’s imprudent comments on the Nevada State Athletic Commission have the potential to land him in legal hot water. The founder of the…

By: Trent Reinsmith | 2 years ago
Fabia’s fight fixing allegations could make UFC sue for defamation, again
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Joshua Fabia’s imprudent comments on the Nevada State Athletic Commission have the potential to land him in legal hot water. The founder of the ‘School of Self-Awareness,’ and former guru/mentor/trainer of recently released UFC fighter Diego Sanchez, recently had his working relationship the the TUF 1 winner terminated.

After news that he and Sanchez were no longer working together went public, Fabia made a few statements of his own—accusing his ex-associate of taking advantage of their working relationship among other things. Along the way, he also threw some serious accusations toward the NSAC.

Speaking to Behind the Scenes with Summer Helene about his acrimonious split with Sanchez, Fabia talked about an incident with the NSAC apparently ahead of Sanchez’s UFC 239 matchup opposite Michael Chiesa.

So, this moment happens where the Nevada State Athletic Commission comes in and leans on Diego, and he has to throw a f—ng fight. Now, I have them recorded…

You go watch the fight, and it’s the only fight in Diego Sanchez’s history that he never threw a punch.

The way that they did it, is in the lean, which is in talking to somebody and dangling their license and explaining, ‘Are you really trying to hurt this man? You’re not trying to hurt him, are you Diego? You’re a sportsman, Diego. You’ve always been a good guy, Diego. You’re not gonna do anything with malicious intent, are you Diego?’

You can call that the way you call it, but the Nevada State Commission is not supposed to come in 30 minutes before a f—ng fight, and come and kick everybody out, and come and talk that type of shit to a fighter and get in their head.

Then on top of it, the last time Diego was a “sportsman,” he was a wrestler. So the first thing he comes out and does is goes and takes this guy’s leg. And he never throws a punch.

So, you tell me. How come my fighter that’s been training for ten weeks to strike didn’t throw a strike?

Chiesa won that 2019 fight by decision (30-26×3). Sanchez attempted 31 strikes during the contest and landed one takedown on two attempts. Chiesa landed five of six takedowns and had nearly 12 minutes of control time.

The NSAC’s pre-fight interest in speaking to Fabia and Sanchez very likely stemmed from reports that Fabia had told the NSAC in the lead up to the contest 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.”

According to witnesses, the move, when demonstrated, apparently resembled the ‘Stone Cold Stunner’—the “finishing” move of professional wrestler Steve Austin.

Fabia has claimed that he has proof of his claims of fight fixing by the NSAC. However if he can’t back up those allegations, sports attorney Daniel Lust noted that his statements could open him up to a defamation suit.

There might even be a chance the UFC could get involved, since they were the ones promoting the bout.

As practicing attorney and combat sports law expert Erik Magraken (of CombatSportslaw.com) pointed out the UFC filed a suit against Wanderlei Silva in 2015 when Silva, according to the suit, “…repeatedly stated that the UFC and its senior management have engaged in “fight fixing” and that he can “prove this allegation”. Fight fixing (also known as match fixing) is the action or practice of dishonestly determining the outcome of a contest before it occurs. Fight-fixing is against the law and often associated with criminal activity such as illegal gambling.”

In UFC’s suit against Silva, the promotion stated, “As a direct and proximate result of Silva’s false and defamatory statements, Zuffa has sustained actual, special and consequential damages in excess of $10,000.”

The UFC also requested attorney’s fees in its suit against Silva.

In 2016, Silva apologized for his statements. The UFC then dropped its suit and released Silva from his contract.

Bloody Elbow reached out to Fabia as well as the UFC and the NSAC for comment. None of the parties responded prior to publication.

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About the author
Trent Reinsmith
Trent Reinsmith

Trent Reinsmith is a freelance writer based out of Baltimore, MD. He has been covering sports for more than 15 years, with a focus on MMA for most of that time. Trent focuses on the day-to-day business of MMA — both inside and outside the cage — for Bloody Elbow.

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