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Diego Sanchez Says Isaac Marquez’s Career is Just Beginning

December 13, 2017 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
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Diego Sanchez spoke with The MMA Hour about his work training with Isaac Marquez, who has Down syndrome. The two faced off in a bout at JacksonWink Fight Night on December 1st, where Marquez defeated the UFC fighter. Highlights are below:

On his work with Isaac Marquez: “I didn’t plan any of it at all. There was no plan to it. It was just me meeting someone, sharing love, sharing the mixed martial arts. For me, I’ve only improved and gotten better while training Isaac. Everything Isaac does, I train right there along with him.”
On getting Marquez in shape: “One of the coolest things was that he immediately lost weight, he would listen to me and eat healthier. It’s amazing. It’s been an amazing journey and we’re only seven months into the journey and we only train once a week. … In the beginning, it was just let’s get this guy to be optimal, that way he can enjoy his life and be in better shape.”

Marquez, who has Down syndrome, is a massive fan of the UFC. Sanchez offered to train Marquez, who recently was dealing with the death of his mother. The idea, at first, was to just get “The Shermanator,” which he has been dubbed by those at JacksonWink, physically fit.

Things escalated earlier this month. Sanchez had just finished preparing for his own fight with Matt Brown, which took place at UFC Norfolk last month. Marquez wanted to fight, too. So, Sanchez said he would be honored to share a cage with him. That’s what happened at JacksonWink Fight Night on Dec. 1.

On Marquez being an inspiration: “He’s a motivation for all of the Down syndrome community. That even though you have Down syndrome, you can still have a dream. You can still believe in your dream and the dream is possible and it can come true if you really believe in it.”

On Marquez winning the fight via armbar: “He worked that move a lot during his training. I just wasn’t aware that he was going to pull it so hard and fast on me.”

On Marquez’s continued career: “This is just the start. Isaac is starting his career now and he’s gonna continue to fight. And we’re gonna get him another fight. Hopefully Little John answers and replies. … He’s a little scared, I think.”