Will Chope vs. Diego Brandao has been yanked from UFC Fight Night 38’s Fox Sports preliminary card this evening, and all because of domestic violence charges that date back five years now. The news comes paired with Chope’s official release from the promotion.
Check out what Chope had to say on his Facebook page after the charges were initially discovered, and prior to his release:
“I fight today. But I just want to make a small post about what has been brought up last night. I made some mistakes in my past. The incidents happened 5 years ago and I will live with them for the rest of my life. But I just want everyone to know the articles are being sensationalized right now and me and my ex wife have spoken about this and we would like everyone to know that we are friends now and have moved on and are different people and are just trying to be good parents to our daughter. She also made a post on her personal page she is allowing me to share. I will make a formal address to this issue after the fight, but I hope this is suffice until then.”
The assault on his wife took place during his time in the Air Force, and resulted in his subsequent discharge by the USAF. The news of Chope’s release, as first announced by Combate, falls in line with the recent clamping down on ‘breaching of the UFC code of conduct’. But is this a step too far by the UFC?
Everyone has a skeleton of some sort in their closet, and surely the fight game has a fair percentage of combatants with criminal histories. As Chope stated, he was in a very bad place back then, and fighting seems to have helped him put his demons to rest.
In a world where public perceptions are everything, the little guy often comes off worse. That being said, domestic violence is unacceptable and, as Bleacher Report first posted, Chope’s case is particularly grizzly. The UFC can’t afford to be affiliated with bad news, and unfortunately for Chope he gets the chop.
Even more unfortunate is the fact that Brandao, a completely innocent party in this mess, is being left unable to work tonight.