Diego Brandao fined for leaving cage mid-fight in Dagestan

Diego Brandao won’t make as much money as he was hoping for after Fight Nights Global 73.

The Brazilian fighter, who faced Akhmet Aliev in the main event in Kaspiysk, Dagestan, on Sept. 4, was fined 30 percent of his purse for “not sporting behavior,” FNG matchmaker Artem Hallanov told MMA Fighting. Twitter user VestnikMMA first reported the news.

The promotion does not disclose how much Brandao was paid to compete, but the fighter told MMA Fighting after FNG 73 that he was making six figures per fight at Fight Nights Global.

Brandao vs. Aliev ended in a TKO defeat for the Brazilian after a series of chaotic events. Upset with a headbutt, the UFC veteran landed an illegal upkick on Aliev’s neck. The crowd erupt and started to throw bottles and garbage into the cage, and Brandao decided he had enough to jumped off the fence and left.

The Ultimate Fighter 14 featherweight winner, who was coming off back-to-back stoppage victories under the FNG banner, returned to the cage moments later, but the referee told him he couldn’t continue the bout, and declared Aliev the winner.

“He headbutt me and the referee told him to stop, and he throws three punches at me? What if that punch knocks me out?” Brandao told MMA Fighting after the fight. “I did a hip escape and threw an upkick at him. I wanted to catch him, but hit his neck. That was a mistake I made, but I wanted to protect myself too. And he eventually came out with the victory.”

“The fight started to get dirty and the referee had no control,” he added. “Akhmet Aliev asked the crowd to stop throwing things into the cage and couldn’t control them, so I decided to get the hell out of there. They were throwing so many bottles at us. Khabib’s father, who’s the man in Dagestan, said ‘Diego was right to leave the cage. He shouldn’t have jumped, I don’t agree with it, but staying there wasn’t safe.’ Khabib’s father told me that.”

Brandao said he’s now a free agent, but doesn’t rule out coming back to the FNG cage if the deal is right despite the scary experience in Dagestan.

[embedded content]