Embattled UFC featherweight Diego Brandao recently came out with a litany of excuses for coming in overweight prior to his first round technical knockout loss to Dustin Poirier at UFC 168. The TUF 14 winner stated that he had gotten into an unfortunate car accident two weeks prior to the bout, leaving him unable to properly train for the No. 6-ranked “Diamond.”
But the story didn’t stop there.
Brandao angered Poirier at the weigh-ins by threatening to stab him with a pen, something that he later confirmed for some odd reason. He also called Poirier “lucky” to beat him in Las Vegas, saying that he knew “The Diamond” was scared of him.
So scared that he knocked him out in the first round.
Brandao apparently thinks that he’s going to be champion one day, a sentiment that he said was reiterated by the UFC brass. While that’s highly questionable at this point, Brandao thinks that the top-level fighters in the UFC 145-pound division are all “scared” of him.
Perhaps the young man is just in need of a serious attitude adjustment, but it’s clear that he’s going to have to change in a big way if he wants to recognize his sizeable potential. Poirier thought the whole thing was just a trumped-up bunch of excuses, telling the following to FOX Sports about his trash-talking former opponent:
"I don't even know what to tell you. I'm done with this guy. He's a win on my record. I'm over it. I'd love to give him a rematch. I'll fight him 10 more times. It’d be like padding my record. It’s easy money. I could beat him all the time. I feel like I was more technically skilled everywhere the fight went. No problem. This is all talk. This is in the past for me.”
“This is him trying to hold on to something and make excuses. The guy's a tomato can. It's nonsense. It’s just a coward thing to do, to make excuses. He could have showed up 100 percent, made weight and still gotten a beatdown. I was ready to fight and ready to win. I can't let what he said take away from my performance. I’m not a trash talker. I don't like to talk down on people. When I said he’s a tomato can while we were talking, that's just because he’s trying to find excuses. To me that's what bums do.”
Poirier, a rising featherweight not usually known for his smack talk, has obviously had enough of Brandao’s excuses. And for good reason. Brandao admitted that UFC execs Sean Shelby and Dana White were mad at him for missing weight and copping an attitude, but this simply isn’t the first time we’ve seen this kind of behavior from him.
The power-hitting Brazilian was regarded as a loose cannon on TUF for his anger-fueled spats with Steven Siler and Marcus Brimage.
There’s having passion for your line of work, and then there’s putting blame on something other than your own actions. Poirier clearly thinks that Brandao’s behavior falls into the latter. It’s not much of a stretch to think that the UFC brass agrees with him, as well.
Brandao has some of the best natural talent in the UFC; however, if he never puts the whole package together by adding some professionalism it’s going to be all for naught. He may not be a “tomato can” quite yet, but if he keeps missing weight, you can bet he’ll find himself fighting them quicker than his meteoric rise to prominence.
Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea for USA TODAY Sports