Diego Brandao's comeback tour just came to a screeching halt.
On Monday, “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 14 winner Brandao faced Dagestan's Akhmed Aliev in the main event of Fight Nights Global 73, held at the Ali Aliev Sports Palace in Kaspiysk in the Republic of Dagestan. Brandao was looking for a third consecutive win inside the FNG but that hope came crashing down in a shambolic second round that brought the lightweight fight to farcical conclusion.
The Brazilian dropped Aliev early in the contest and chased him around the cage with heavy, wild punches and flying knees. Aliev began to exploit Brandao's historically shaky cardio in Round 2 however, forcing Brandao to shoot a single-leg takedown then pull half guard. When he settled on top, Aliev appeared to headbutt Brandao while pressuring in close, then “Ceara” claimed that Aliev gouged him in the left eye. Moments later, Aliev again appeared to headbutt Brandao but when referee Jan Vobornik attempted to call for time and stand the fighters up, Aliev continued to throw punches from above. Slighted, Brandao became unhinged, first upkicking Aliev in the throat and angrily stomping around the cage while the Dagestani fans threw garbage into the cage.
As Vobornik attempted to calm Brandao down and restore order, the Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran climbed over the cage and began inciting the fans. Brandao eventually returned to the cage for the official result announcement, then gave two middle fingers to the Kaspiysk crowd before being forced by the promotion to pose for photos. Aliev was named the winner by TKO via retirement at 3:44 of the second round.
Brandao, 33, has become known for erratic and combustible behavior in and out of the cage. He won TUF 14's featherweight tournament, tapping Dennis Bermudez in their December 2011 final and went on to compile a 6-4 record in the Octagon. Brandao was released by the promotion in April 2016 after he was arrested for assault with great bodily harm and three charges for assault with a deadly weapon after pistol-whipping a man at an Albuquerque, N.M. strip club. Following his release from the UFC, Brandao signed with Fight Nights Global where he pulled off a spectacular helicopter armbar on Bellator MMA veteran Murad Machaev in January, then knocked out Vener Galiev in May.
Elsewhere on the Fight Nights Global 72 card, UFC veteran Fabio Maldonado won the FNG light heavyweight title, tapping Kurban Omarov via guillotine at 3:01 of the third round, while leglock specialist “Toquinho” Rousimar Palhares lost a highly controversial split decision to undefeated welterweight Shamil Amarov.