The incident in which Diego Brandao allegedly pistol-whipped a bouncer outside an Albuquerque, N.M., strip club last month led to the fighter’s UFC release, but there could be more to the story.
In a video obtained by TMZ, police question Brandao about the April 15 altercation. The 28-year-old Brazilian initially denies having a weapon, but later admits pulling out a gun because one of the bouncers also had a gun. Brandao says he was being choked, as well. Brandao changed his tune when police suggested during the questioning that there may be video of the incident.
When asked about what happened to the weapon, Brandao claimed that he broke it into pieces and scattered it away from the club. He said the gun belonged to a friend.
Brandao was arrested on April 15 on three felony charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one for aggravated battery with a deadly weapon before eventually being released the next day from the Albuquerque Metropolitan Detention Center on $15,000 bond. The Bernalillo County District Attorney’s office still has to decide if it will pursue the case against Brandao.
According to an arrest warrant, the incident began when an intoxicated Brandao argued with a DJ at Knockouts in downtown Albuquerque and was denied re-entry into the strip club. The fighter allegedly attempted to force his way in by throwing punches at several employees at the front door before leaving and returning with the gun. Then, Brandao threatened the group and struck one employee with the butt of the firearm on his chin, leaving him with a “small abrasion.”
Brandao, who trains at Jackson-Wink MMA, last competed at UFC 195 in Las Vegas on Jan. 2, when he was submitted in the third round by Brian Ortega. He tested positive for marijuana during an in-competition screening prior to the defeat.