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Diego Brandao on leaving Fight Nights Global bout mid-fight: ‘I don’t regret anything’

Diego Brandao talks about the bizarre incidents during his last fight in Russia that led to him walking out of the cage, mid-fight.


Diego Brandao’s most recent professional fight in Dagestan, Russia, was a strange one, to say the least. After an exchange of head butts and other illegal blows against opponent Akhmed Aliev, as well people in the stands throwing bottles inside the cage, the TUF 14 veteran decided to just walk off the fight in the middle of action in the second round.

Brandao’s actions earned him his first loss outside of the UFC, as well as the ire of the fans in attendance. But despite the backlash, the Brazilian fighter is not at all sorry about what he had done.

"I don’t regret anything,” Brandao told MMA Fighting. "My family and team are by my side. It’s tough to please everyone. I apologize to my fans in Brazil, United States and Dagestan, those who paid to watch the fight. I already asked for a rematch, I want to prove I’m better than him. Akhmet Aliev knows I’m better than him."

"Everything was going the way I planned,” he added. "That was my strategy. I almost pulled a Nick Diaz and lay on the ground to see what he would do. But they are throwing bottles at me? I’m out of here."

Brandao was released from the UFC in April 2016 following a felony battery arrest a month prior. While he admitted that he is currently making way more money under Fight Nights Global, he hopes to one day be back fighting in the UFC.

"I’ll never make this kind of money in the UFC,” Brandao said. "I can’t stop now because of these people. Fight Nights only has to pick a better place for me to fight. I apologize to the fans who wanted to see a fight, but I couldn’t continue. It was crazy. It might look kind of funny in the video, me jumping the cage. Some people laugh at it, others say it’s insane, but I know what I was doing. I’m not happy with the result either.”

"I want to go back to the UFC and fight the best the way I am now, healthy and strong. I just hope Fight Nights continue its works. My manager already contacted them asking what their plans are. This was the last fight of my contract and we’ll see if we will sign a new one. PFL starts in January, and they have a spot for me there, but I think I’ll continue at Fight Nights."

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