Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighters may be more known for their brute strength than their decent acts of kindness. But MMA star Diego Sanchez broke down the stereotypes by marking dreams come true for one fan, welcoming him into the octagon to go toe-to-toe.
The 32-year-old UFC mega-fan, Isaac 'The Shermanator' Marquez, who has Down's Syndrome, became pals with Sanchez earlier this year, after walking into the Jackson Wink MMA Academy in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and forming a special bond with him.
Following that, Sanchez then announced that Marquez would be making his MMA debut, and that he would be the opponent.
He posted a promotional poster to Instagram, saying: "@isaacmarquezabq gets his big fight! He is dedicating it to his mom who died of dementia. This champion is on of the most positive motivating men that I have ever crossed paths with! MMA IS HIS PASSION AND HE LOVES @UFC come watch him fight me"
Despite having a superior height and weight advantage, when the fight at the Isleta Casino finally came around the 35-year-old UFC veteran succumbed to a first round armbar. This led to a shock loss against The Shermanator - much to the delight of the crowd.
"Most down syndrome adults don't live past 45," Sanchez told local TV station KRQE before the bout. "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.
"He came to just come and check out the gym and 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'. He believes it with all of his heart, so I am going to make it happen."
Sanchez concluded the fight by proudly parading Marquez around on his shoulders.
We've seen a lot of good fights in our time, but the Sanchez vs. Marquez bout might just be the best. Round of applause all round, chaps.
Featured Image Credit: PA