TUF season 1 winner and UFC welterweight Diego Sanchez recently spoke with MMAWeekly Radio and shared some history about himself. After Sanchez lost his attempt to win the lightweight title from B.J. Penn at UFC 107 near the end of 2009, he suffered from what he termed a “rockstar life.”
“After I lost the B.J. Penn fight, I lost control. I lost control of life. I had just made my biggest payday and I was just down about the loss. That was my dream to become world champion, and it still is. But it was at my fingertips and the way I lost, getting cut, so brutally cut, I was beat up.
“I took the wrong path. I took the path of partying, and I was just drinking away my sorrows. I was handling the problem the wrong way.”
“I let some bad influences get into my life and it was a downward spiral. It was like a tornado sucking everything in. I let a person that I thought was a friend, a real close friend, someone that would help me with finances, I had him helping me out with stuff. Turned out I got embezzled for over $170,000. He conned me. I got conned so bad. And in the same time when I got conned, I was just wasting the money that I had earned.”
“I knew I had to make that change (returning to New Mexico from California). I moved out to the mountains, 30 minutes outside of Albuquerque. I just changed my whole life. I went from living a rockstar life, which I figured out was just a big lie. It was not true happiness, it sucked me in. It ate me apart.”
“Greg Jackson always told me that if I ever wanted to come back, the door was always open,” Sanchez explained. “That gym was my gym. He said, ‘this is your house, no matter what. This will always be your house.’”
“I was sucked into a life of sin. I was smoking weed, I was drinking, partying, and it just really, truly held me back from my potential.”
“You know what I did? I grew up.
I stopped living that little young life that I want to do what I want to do when I want to do it, and that’s how I want to do it. Now, I’m (living) a different life, a real adult life.”
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