It’s hard to think of a man more deserving of a fight night bonus in recent history than Diego Brandao. The young Brazilian warrior had the biggest night of his career last night, winning The Ultimate Fighter 14 as a featherweight and taking home a cool $80,000 in bonus money for rising from the brink of defeat to nearly take his opponent, Dennis Bermudez’s arm home with him.
The brilliant and gutsy performance earned Brandao Submission of the Night as well as Fight of the Night, but more importantly it opened the door for Brandao to take care of his one surviving parent as well as needy children in his home country.
“I’m going to tell my mom to stop cleaning houses; I don’t like this,” Brandao said following his big win (props to MMAJunkie). “I’m going to take my mom from this crazy life to clean the houses of people. Now if she wants to come to the U.S., she can come to the U.S. If she wants to live in Brazil, she can live in Brazil. You pick. Whatever you want.”
Brandao has been on a mission since his father’s untimely death to provide for his family and raise them out of poverty; he feels that he completed that mission last night and now, with his family provided for, he has his sights set on giving a helping hand to strangers.
“I feel happy,” Brandao said. “I made my promise when I got into the house. Now I want to spend $15,000, which in Brazil means $30,000. I want to spend it for kids in Brazil who have cancer and on the hospitals. I’m going to visit the hospitals. I’m going to make a better Christmas in Brazil for the kids this year because I haven’t had a happy Christmas since my dad passed away.”
Brandao earned a six-figure contract in victory and improved his record to 14-7. The Ultimate Fighter 14 Finale went down at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas.