LAS VEGAS – While the two co-headlining fights of UFC 168 were expected to feature spirited staredowns, those two title clashes were trumped by the emotions on display when featherweights Dustin Poirier and Diego Brandao stood toe-to-toe.
Already the pre-event “Fight of the Night” selection from MMAjunkie’s John Morgan, the bout got an extra dose of flavoring when Brandao tipped the scales at 153 pounds, a whopping seven pounds over the accepted 146-pound limit for a featherweight non-title fight.
Poirier went second, registering right at 146 pounds, before charging forward and putting a fist against his opponent’s chin. When UFC President Dana White stepped in between them, Poirier pulled his fist away and pointed a menacing finger while yelling what event emcee Joe Rogan could only label as “heated words.”
MMAjunkie confirmed with a UFC official that Poirier’s outburst included the proclamation, “I’m going to f—ing break you, and you know it.”
Brandao would continue to cut weight and hit the scale again after the official ceremony but could only slim down to 151.5 pounds. He was fined 25 percent of his purse, but the bout will go on as scheduled.
Initial attempts to reach Brandao for an explanation of what went wrong were unsuccessful.
Porier (14-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC) is currently ranked No. 13 in the latest USA TODAY Sports MMA featherweight rankings. Brandao (18-8 MMA, 4-1 UFC) is an honorable mention.
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