Despite two tries, Diego Brandao misses weight badly for UFC 168

(L-R) Opponents Dustin Poirier and Diego Brandao face off during the UFC 168 weigh-in
Diego Brandao missed weight at the UFC 168 weigh-in...and badly.
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Mike Chiappetta

Mike Chiappetta has documented the fast-growing sport of mixed martial arts since 2006 for news organizations including SB Nation, NBCSports.com, FIGHT! Magazine, AOL and ESPN. He appears regularly as an analyst on countless television shows and radio programs, including CBS Radio and MMA Beat. Follow him on Twitter.


Diego Brandao stepped on the scale with exhilaration on his face. His arms were outstretched, his face was calm, a common reaction after days of cutting weight. He was finished with the torture.

But then Nevada state athletic commission executive director Keith Kizer read off the number.

“One-fifty-three,” he said.

In a blink, Brandao’s face wore confusion, as if he had no idea that was about to happen. Even with a one-pound allowance, he was seven pounds past the featherweight cutoff. After his opponent Dustin Poirier weighed in and hit 146, the American angrily yelled at him as they faced each other for the customary faceoff.

Afterward, he went back and cut another 1.5 pounds for a final weight of 151.5, but it wasn’t nearly enough. According to UFC officials, he’ll be fined 25 percent of his purse. Half of it will be awarded to his UFC 168 opponent Poirier, the other half will go to the state commission.

There was no immediate word on what caused him to miss so badly. Brandao had never had any previous trouble with making the division’s limit, and had actually been praised for some newfound self-discipline in his fight style that was believed to have woven its way into his pre-fight preparation as well.

Brandao (18-8) comes into the fight riding a three-fight win streak, with victories over Daniel Pineda, Pablo Garza and Joey Gambino. The 26-year-old, a season 14 winner of The Ultimate Fighter, is 4-1 overall in the UFC.

Poirier (14-3) is coming off a decision win over Erik Koch in August.

All 21 of the other fighters on the promotion’s year-end card made weight, including UFC champion Chris Weidman, who checked in at 184, and ex-champ Anderson Silva, who weighed 185 for their anticipated rematch.

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