UFC veteran Diego Sanchez organized a special fight for his number-one fan, Isaac Marquez, who has Down syndrome, making his dream come true last weekend.
While it’s common to hear news about MMA fighters getting involved in scandals and fights outside of sports venues, 35-year-old Sanchez made headlines for all the right reasons.
The UFC fighter recently became friends with Marquez, who stopped by the Jackson Wink MMA Academy, where Sanchez trains, “just to check out the gym.”
“I told him, ‘You like MMA?’ and he said, ‘I love fighting,’ and then I said, ‘Alright. Well, are you here to just watch or do you want to train?’ and he said, ‘I want to train.’ So, I said alright let’s do this,” Sanchez said to KRQE Radio before the fight.
The training eventually led to the dream fight organized for Marquez, who picked up the fight moniker “The Shermanator” for his MMA debut.
The bout, which the debutant won by way of submission (armbar), happened last weekend at the Isleta Casino and Resort in Albuquerque.
A post shared by Diego Sanchez (@diegonightmaresanchezufc) on
“Most Down syndrome adults don’t live past 45,” said Sanchez. “Isaac is 32, and I just wanted to see this young man be healthy. Exercise and martial arts are one of the most healthy things you can do.”