It was a wild night of fighting at Fight Nights Global 73 in Dagestan, an event that featuring three UFC veterans. On the undercard, Rousimar Palhares lost his fight against Shamil Amirov via decision and Fabio Maldonado choked Kurban Omarov out in the third round.
But all hell broke loose in the main event when Akhmed Aliev headbutted Diego Brandao, who responded by (allegedly) biting Aliev's ear and abandoning the fight by jumping over the top of the cage.
Brandao explained his actions to MMA Fighting and how fighting in Dagestan could be a dangerous endeavor for a foreigner.
"He headbutt me and the referee told him to stop," Brandao said. "And he throws three punches at me? What if that punch knocks me out? 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.”
Brandao also denied biting Aliev's ear.
"That’s what he says. I was going for the armbar and started to talk trash at him, saying I’d catch him, and he started to yell that I was biting his ear, that I removed the mouthpiece to bit him. Bulls**t. The mouthpiece never left my mouth. That’s his excuse for headbutting me.”
And then the crowd got involved, tossing bottles and trash into the cage.
"The fight started to get dirty and the referee had no control,” Brandao said. "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. ... Russians don’t play around. They said they would rip my head off and things like that, and when I responded they got mad at me. I had 20 bodyguards and three armored cars protecting me all week. It was intense.”
Surprisingly enough, Brandao said he was willing to return to Dagestan and fight for FNG again. The promotion may be a bit shady when it comes to decisions against non-Russian fighters, but they also pay well: Diego revealed he recieved a six figure pay for the three fights he's had with the organization.