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‘TUF 14′ title means Diego Brandao can fight with peace of mind and give his Brazilian mother a new life

Steve Cofield
Cagewriter

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Diego Brandao was fighting with a lot on his mind on Saturday night. The 24-year-old Brazilian knew a win at the Season 14 "Ultimate Fighter Finale" could change his mother's life.

Brandao scored a comeback victory of sorts with a surprising armbar to grab the TUF 14 featherweight title and guaranteed contract with the UFC.  He also earned an extra $80,000 for Submission of the Night and Fight of the Night. Now he can take care of his 43-year-old mother back in his hometown Manaus.

"My mission is over. I've been here for three years trying to get a better life for my family," Brandao said during the TUF 14 postfight press conference. "She doesn't know what's going on now. I hope she doesn't have a heart attack. I'm going to go slow (in telling her)."

Brandao said his mother rents a one room apartment and that she often has no food to eat. He will offer a chance to move to the U.S. with him or buy her a house in Manaus. To make ends meet, she cleans houses. Brandao wants to free her from that.{ysp:more}

Training out of Albuquerque's Jackson's MMA, Brandao said the UFC contract and extra money will help his career too.

"I'm going to take care of myself from here. I'm going to be a better fighter too," Brandao said. "Sometimes when I've been training I've been thinking of (what's going on back in) Brazil, about the food problem down there. Now I'm going to be focused."

Brandao looks like a great prospect at featherweight. His overall record is a deceiving 14-7. He fought 11 times before the age of 21. With improved stamina and game-planning under the coaching of Greg Jackson, the kid has a chance to be a big star. He hits like a Mack truck.

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