Looking for his third win in a row under the UFC banner, the Brazilian revealed he uses his love for guns to get extra motivation for a fight. A picture of Pineda’s face served as the target for his shooting practice, and he used an AK-47 and a M-16 to do the job.
"This is something I usually do during all my camps," Brandao told MMAFighting.com. "I live in the U.S. and that’s perfectly legal here. It is part of the American culture, and I only use that inside the shooting area. I train with guys from the army and police. They invited me to practice."
Pineda shouldn’t take this as a personal hate. Diego does it all the time.
"Nothing personal against my opponent, I always do that as a motivation," he said. "It helps me to relax and focus on my opponent."
Brandao says he’s also planning to make a statement against Pineda.
"Every fight I do helps me to get in a better position in the division," he said. "I want this third win, it’s really important for my growth in the UFC. I hope this win puts me in the Top 10. I believed I’d be there already after my last win, but I didn’t. I’m OK with it, but I really want to be among the best."
All of Pineda’s wins inside the Octagon have been via submissions, but he has tapped in six of his nine MMA defeats. Brandao knows that and wants to capitalize if the fight goes to the ground.
"He’s a tough opponent, he moves a lot, but I’m ready to beat him," he said. "If he wants to do that kind of fight, I’m OK with it. I love to stand and bang, but jiu-jitsu is my home. My goal is to please the fans, give them what they want, an intense fight. That’s why the UFC likes me. I won TUF 14 doing things that nobody has done before, winning all my fights in the first round. This is how I am."
Winning the season 14 of The Ultimate Fighter was big for Brandao, and he wants to return to the house as coach for TUF Brazil’s third edition in 2014.
"It would be an honor to be able to train the young kids at TUF," he said. "I’ve learned a lot when I went to the show, it was an amazing experience. I’m sure I’d be a good coach."
How about a champion vs. champion edition, featuring Diego Brandao and Rony Jason? Brandao likes the idea.
"I want to coach the show and fight Rony Jason next because we both won the show (in Brazil), and he’s from the Northeast part of Brazil like me," he said. "I believe the show would be a huge success there, and that would help the UFC to grow there too."