I know this my come as a bit of a shock, but it turns out that not everyone who fights for a living has the most well balanced personality. Prior to UFC 168 rumors were flying that Diego Brandao threatened to stab Dustin Poirier back stage before the weigh-ins. Not to be out done, Poirier delivered his own pre-fight message to Brandao during their weigh in, telling the Brazilian “I’m going to f**king break you and you know it.” Now that the dust has settled, Brandao went on the record with MMA Fighting to give his side of the story… it didn’t help:
“He was there, bouncing at the weigh-ins, staring at me. I told him backstage ‘if you ever do that again, I’ll stab you with a pen.’ That’s what happened,” Brandao said.
“Every time he saw me at the hotel he kept staring at me, and I responded asked what was the problem, if he looking like that because he was hungry or what. When he got inside the cage I saw he was scared. He got lucky (to win).”
Brandao explained that an accident in which he was struck by a drunk driver left him unable to train much for this bout and although Sean Shelby was initially quite angry with him, he seems to feel that the UFC understands his situation.
“I couldn’t run, I couldn’t cut weight to fight,” he said. “I had injuries in my back and ribs, but I went there and fought. I don’t think I trained more than five times for this fight and I knocked him down twice in the first round.”
“Sean Shelby was pissed off, but he understood when I showed him the photos of my car,” Brandao said. “I spoke with him and Dana White, they said that I need to change and I’m going to be the champion one day. They said they know the fighters are afraid of me.”
I get what Brandao thinks he’s saying. Poirier was trying to mean mug him and he wasn’t about to be thrown off his game… but threatening to stab someone in the neck with a pen because they’re looking at you funny is the sort of thing that gets most people anger management training (and yes I realize that punching someone in the face all the time also qualifies, but I think there’s a real distinction here). Brandao can pass it all off as a joke now, but it’s hard to seperate that kind of threat from a man who seems as hardwired to his emotions as Brandao does.
Beyond that, his car accident excuse is just that, an excuse. If you’re too injured to train for the fight, you’re too injured to take the fight. If he really thinks he’s going to be champion one day he’s going to have to sort this stuff out. For all their bloody past the UFC isn’t going to have a lot of interest promoting a fighter who’s threatening to stab people, even if he promises he’ll never actually do it, and especially if he can’t make weight.
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