Growing up in Brazil, Diego Brandao left home for America not to pursue his own dreams, but to follow the final words from his father.
“Take care of your mother.”
Brandao grew up in Brazil and just before his father passed, he asked his son to make sure to look after his mother and his family because he was now the man of the house.
“My dad, before he passed away, he said for me to take care of her. Now I’m doing my mission,” Brandao told MMAWeekly Radio. “Now I have everything good because God has a plan for me.”
Throughout his time on The Ultimate Fighter season 14, Brandao repeatedly stated that his life’s mission was to go home to Brazil and buy his mother a new house. He wasn’t worried about buying himself a new car, or showing off his UFC contract.
Brandao just wanted to give back to the mother who gave him so much growing up.
“This is the real mission, to buy her a house. She has a bad back. She’s been working cleaning houses. It sucks for me to see my mom like that,” Brandao explained.
There may not be a stronger motivation in this world than that, so Brandao is looking at his finale fight with Dennis Bermudez like he’s actually going into battle.
“This is for me going to be mission over. My mission’s going to be over. I’m going to go home cause right now I’m in a war. I’m in a war,” said Brandao. “I’m going to go back home and help the kids out there in the streets, help my mom, help my brother.”
To get ready for the war ahead, Brandao trained non-stop after he left the show alongside his teammates at Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn’s gym in New Mexico.
His teammates have all complimented his work ethic and improvement. UFC lightweight Clay Guida even went so far as to compare him to featherweight champion Jose Aldo.
UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones took it a step further when speaking about Brandao.
“He has this fire to be great and to be a champion, that’s probably some of the highest fire in the whole room next to myself of trying to do something awesome,” said Jones.
High praise from his teammates, and Brandao is out to prove them both right.
He’s never backed down from telling his opponents exactly what he planned on doing to them in the cage, and with three first-round TKO’s during his time on The Ultimate Fighter, he’s lived up to his word.
Brandao plans on making Dennis Bermudez the fourth consecutive on that list.
“I can see it in his eyes that I’m going to beat him. Probably going to knock him out in the first round,” said Brandao.
“Dennis is very tough. I have respect for him. I respect he’s a skilled wrestler, but I think my game matches his game. I’m more aggressive and I think he’s going to get hurt.”
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