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UFC and former opponent Diego Brandao issue statements on release of Will Chope

Today's "Fight Night" event in Brazil suffered a major shake up when Will Chope was released from the promotion. Following his removal from the FOX Sports "Prelims," the other two parties involved came forward.

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has released featherweight prospect Will Chope after news broke on Saturday that "The Kill" was discharged from the United States Air Force back in 2011 for domestic violence, stemming from an incident involving his ex-wife.

See the report here.

Chope was expected to fight fellow 145-pound up-and-comer Diego Brandao on the FOX Sports 1 "Prelims" portion of the UFC Fight Night 38 fight card, which takes place in just a few hours (March 23, 2014) from inside Nelio Dias Gymnasium in Natal, Brazil (results).

UFC explained its position in a statement released earlier today:

Tonight's featherweight bout between Will Chope and Diego Brandao has been canceled after UFC officials were made aware of Chope's previous military conviction. The UFC does not condone behavior of this nature whatsoever and Chope has been released from his contract. Brandao will receive both his show and win money for the bout.

Chope is expected to release an official statement on Wednesday.

Shortly after the announcement was made regarding the change in tonight's fight card, Brandao issued his own statement to MMA Junkie, sharing his disappointment that he would be unable to compete, but also empathizing with his former opponent.

His words:

"I'm disappointed, but I have to say thanks to God for taking me here to Brazil. I feel for Chope. I know he worked hard for this moment. I worked hard for this fight, too. But he had a bad moment in his life, and this is the UFC. You can't make mistakes and expect to stay in the UFC. That's why I thank God every day that I have this opportunity because I've made mistakes, too. But from now on, I'm never going to make those mistakes. I'm only going to learn from the mistakes of others."

Brandao is campaigning for a spot on the upcoming San Antonio card (details).

For more on the UFC Fight Night 38: "Shogun vs. Henderson 2" event on FOX Sports 1, including live results and play-by-play, click here and here. To get more information on the details surrounding Chope's military discharge click here.

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