Will Chope Axed By The UFC, Diego Brandao Pulled From Fight Night 38


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.

  • I have absolutely NO respect for male who beat women, but everyone makes a mistake & he paid for that 5 years ago. Had this been a recent incident, a year or two ago, then I can understand the UFC choping Chope, but to do this right before his fight, I beleive is unfair not only to Chope but to his opponent as well. Shouldn't the UFC be the one too blame here? They didn't do their "research"/background check, and now two fighters & fans have to pay for their mistakes?!?

    Unless Chope has had a recent assault charge, then I think the UFC are in the wrong here, especially considering it's THEIR OWN FAULT for lack of due diligence. If what happened 5 yrs ago was the last time he did wrong/being an idiot, he certainly doesn't deserve to have to pay twice for the same idiotic & gutless behaviour. I'm sure this isn't the 2nd time he's paid for his past unintelligence. So the question then becomes, how many times does someone have to pay for something that occured 5 years ago to not comeback & bite him in the ass?!?

  • Well said Kris. Same here… no respect for someone who beats on a woman. But, as you stated… how long does he have to keep paying for it? I would hope/assume the UFC paid Brandao his win money.

    • Especially if the two people are friends now. I assume any charges would have been dropped at this stage.

  • Dana White on his own criminal history:

    "Yes, I’ve been arrested a few times. I’ve been arrested for assault. I got into fights when I was a kid. Street fights. Drinking as a minor. Stuff like that. Normal stuff."

    If Chope can't fight in the UFC because he's committed an act of violence, then how can Dana White be allowed to run it?

    To me, this is a whole lot of political correctness and a knee-jerk reaction to a non-event. The matter was dealt with five years ago and he paid a price. His dishonorable discharge from the military being the greatest.

    It's odd that Chope's wife could move on, but not the UFC.

    Put this down as another PR mistake by the brand. Once again they're out of step with their fans.

    • D

      A couple things…

      1) Getting into a street fight as a teenager (presumably not with a female) and choking your wife, beating her with a knife handle and threatening to kill her with said knife are not the same things. Fighting and domestic violence are just not the same.

      2) Being arrested and being convicted are also not the same things by a long shot.

      3) It's obvious that Will Chope failed to disclose this to the UFC. The same can't be said about Mr. White.

      • Zip

        D, nothing you said was wrong, but I think the ridiculous idea of Dana positioning himself as the poster child of morality was the point.

        Yeah, if Chope didn't disclose this, then the ding is on him.

        • D

          Has Dana White made a statement about this issue? Because he does not own the UFC. He is the president, but he's not the ultimate decision maker.

          Also, you do not have to be a "poster child for morality" to hate woman beaters. Ask some convicts.

          • He's not the ultimate decision maker? Odd he comes across as such. He certainly came across that when he decided not to sign Ben Askren. He also comes across that way on issues like Cyborg Santos and Holly Holm.

            As to being a woman beater, did Chope "beat" his wife? It doesn't sound like he did. He was charged with misdemeanor, "simple assault." That's not beating someone.

          • He's not the ultimate decision maker? Odd he comes across as such. He certainly came across that way when he decided to not sign Ben Askren. He also comes across that way on issues like Cyborg Santos and Holly Holm.

            As to being a woman beater, did Chope "beat" his wife? It doesn't sound like he did. He was charged with misdemeanor, "simple assault." That's not beating someone.

        • Indeed, that was the point Zip. 🙂

      • D –

        1) He was a teenager when this happened. He was 18 to be exact.

        2) It was a misdemeanor, "simple assault."

        3) Being arrested and being convicted are not the same thing, we know this from the O.J. Simpson murder trial. To the point, charges are dropped or guilty parties fail to be convicted all the time. I'd also make note of the fact that being arrested for something isn't exactly proof of someone's 'angel like" ways.

        4) In terms of White disclosing anything I doubt he was ever required to. As he organically grew into his job, he subsequently never applied for his job. Further, as his best friends own the company I'm sure they'd say ' don't worry about it Dana, it was a long time ago, and you were a teenager.' The same would be true is Chope's case.

        Again, he's paid his debt and I don't see where the UFC gets off penalizing him again.

        On a finer point, when the UFC says it has a 'no tolerance" policy on this issue, I'd like to see where that's actually written down. My guess is that they don't and if they feel so strongly about people's criminal records, then perhaps they should codify their morality.

        Again, if the courts and Chope's wife have been satisfied and moved on, I don't see why the UFC can't, or where they have the moral authority to penalize Chope. The UFC is not an aggrieved party in the matter.

  • Fuck the UFC!!!! Bunch of dummies running that organization that have no clue what they are doing. They should just run these decisions by the fans and go from there.

    • The fans? There are a lot of dumb cunt fans that wouldn't know if there ass was on fire….

  • As far as I am concerned he made a mistake and should not be victimised for the rest of his life. If he paid the penalty in being dismissed from the army, charged and punished by the courts then im ok with that. If he commits the crime during his UFC tenure than get rid of him but it seems to me that a lot of time has passed. If he has a long crimninal history than get rid of him but if its a one off offence and he hasn't reoffended than we need to show some leniency

  • The only thing I can think of is …once the issue was brought to light… maybe the UFC had a look at his contract? I would have to assume (dangerous… I know) there has to be something on there about being convicted of a crime or felony in the contract. Could it be possible Chope didn't disclose this when he signed with the UFC and this is what really caused them to terminate him? Just throwing that out there… I'm still sticking to my 1st post… but… this might be a possibility?