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

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


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


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.