Love him or love him not, you have to admit Diego Sanchez is one of those fighters who you can tell really loves to fight. You know this guy really loves fighting because he gets in there and gets his face repeatedly beat into a bloody mess and just keeps coming at his opponents. I still consider the 2009 fight between Clay Guida and Diego is one of my favorite fights ever.
Diego has been coming at the MMA world for the last few years showing us smiles and offering up encouragement with positive affirmations of 'Yes! Yes! Yes', and appearing to be a guy on a spiritual enlightened high. Behind the scenes though Diego has been through some very dark times. In a recent interview with MMAWeeklyRadio, he talked a bit about leaving the Jackson camp, partying and getting conned and how he got himself out of a destructive downward spiral.
"After the BJ Penn fight I lost control of my life...I took the path of partying...traveling, I was drinkign away my sorrows."
"I got conned by a guy out of over $170,000..."
"While I was getting ready for he John Hathaway fight I was dealing with this guy who robbed me and I had so much hatred, it really made the problem so much worse for me. I started drinking to get away from the problem. My head wasn't in the game...I was a lost soul."
"I humbled myself and went back to the gym (Greg Jackson's camp)....I found out I had a son...I missed out on the first five years of his life but I felt I was blessed to have a son."
"Without a doubt right now, I'm 29 years old I'm now in my prime...I've got a jump on this camp. I was in training camp 4 days after the Kampmann fight...all these years I was really holding myself back. I was sucked into a life of sin. I was smoking weed, partying, and it just really truly held me back from my potential...there is a new fire burning inside of my heart..."
"I'll tell you straight up, you know what I did...I grew up. I grew up."
Some really mature and heartfelt honesty from Diego as he prepares for his upcoming fight with Matt Hughes at UFC 135 on Septmeber 24, 2011. You can listen to the entire interview here. [Source]