What was originally a featherweight fight ended up being a 151.5 lbs catchweight after Diego Brandao badly missed weight for last night's showdown with Dustin Poirier at UFC 168. Brandao weighed in at 153 lbs before cutting 1.5 additional lbs but still losing 25% of his purse as a result. Poirier was not pleased at all with Brandao at the weigh-ins, and promised to "break" him in the fight.
Diego Brandao, to no one's surprise, threw his strikes with vicious intent. He loaded up on his punches looking for the KO and did knockPoirier down with a right hand, only for Poirier to bounce back up. There were worries about Brandao's cardio having missed weight so badly, and Poirier's slick counters combined with his body shots did Brandao in. Diego was hurt by several of Poirier's body shots, and after Poirier's brief takedown attempt he dropped Brandao with a left hand and pounded him out for several seconds before Mario Yamasaki stopped the fight. Dustin Poirier def. Diego Brandao via TKO (punches) at 4:54 of round 1.
What was the high point of the fight?
Poirier's finishing sequence was a great example of his killer instinct and it ultimately overwhelmed an exhausted Brandao.
Where do these two go from here?
Poirier (15-3 MMA, 7-2 UFC) looked excellent once again and at just 24 years of age is one of the brightest and most promising young fighters in the sport. He's lost a couple of fights against top competition recently so immediately pairing him with a top 5 guy is unlikely, but with a win or two he'll definitely have a strong case for a "#1 contender" type of fight.
Brandao (18-9 MMA, 4-2 UFC) sees his 3 fight win streak end and I'm sure the UFC is none too happy about how badly he missed weight. Apparently a car accident two weeks ago significantly affected his weight cut, which seems a legitimate reason considering he's never missed weight before. He's still a fun fighter and I think he'll get fun fights against guys outside of the top 10.
Watch now, later, or never?
Now. Fun fight, great finish, great performance by Poirier.