Thursday 22 February 2018

Former opponent of Conor McGregor arrested for allegedly striking a strip club employee with a gun

Conor McGregor in action against Diego Brandao in The O2
Conor McGregor in action against Diego Brandao in The O2

Tom Rooney

In a week when MMA has rarely been in the news for the right reasons, a member of its professional ranks did the sport’s reputation no favours.

Diego Brandao, who Conor McGregor defeated via first round TKO at UFC Fight Night 46 in the then O2 Arena in July 2014, was arrested in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Saturday for allegedly striking a strip club employee in the face with a gun.

Brandao, who won the 14th edition of The Ultimate Fighter reality series in 2011, is in Albuquerque to train at the famed Jackson/Winkeljohn academy, which houses some of the sport’s biggest names.

According to a criminal complaint filed in a Metropolitan court, the 27-year-old was charged with aggravated battery and three counts of aggravated assault, while his bond was set at $15,000.

According to reports, Brandao was removed from the Knockouts club before returning to the premises in an attempt to get back in. When refused, he is said to have repeatedly punched employees.

After leaving again, Brando returned with a gun and, according to accounts given to police by witnesses, he pointed the gun at a patron’s chest before hitting an employee in the face with the butt of the pistol.

Subsequently, the Brazilian’s employers, UFC, have released the following statement:

“We are aware that UFC featherweight Diego Brandao was arrested Friday following an altercation at a business establishment in Albuquerque, N.M. We are in the process of gathering more information at this time.

“While we are concerned by the nature of the reported allegations, it is important to note that Brandao is entitled to due process in a court of law. We will have no further comment until more information can be gathered.”

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