Diego Pereira Brandao: Mormon Athlete
Diego Pereira Brandão is a mixed martial artist competing in the featherweight and lightweight divisions. He is a member of Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts team and holds a second degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
On October 20, 2016, Brandão signed a contract to fight Russian MMA superstar Rasul Mirzaev. But Mirzaev inexplicably pulled out of the bout on December 3. Brandão defeated Murad Machaev at Fight Nights 58 on January 28, 2017.
In 2011 Brandão participated in the Spike TV reality show The Ultimate Fighter, and took the title after three rounds of fighting and a final matchup. On national television, an interviewer asked Brandão where his confidence came from. Brandão held up his copy of the Book of Mormon and replied, “From this. Everything is coming from here. This changed my life. God, He said He had a plan for me . . . everything that is hard in my life, He made it so easy. This God, it’s not myself.”
Brandão was born on May 27, 1987, in Fortaleza, Brazil. He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.