Diego Brandao will finally return to the Octagon after the cancelation of two UFC fights in a row, and he has changed his camp for his first main event.
Brandao replaces Cole Miller against Conor McGregor at UFC Fight Night 46 in Dublin, Ireland, on July 19, and instead of training with Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn in Albuquerque, the TUF 14 winner is working with Pete Spratt and Rodrigo Pinheiro in San Antonio.
"Greg Jackson always leaves the door open to me, always believed in me, (and also) Winkeljohn, but this time I had different plans," Brandao said on last Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour.
"I don’t wanna talk about it. I wanna just do this camp in San Antonio. Greg Jackson knows what I’ve been doing, and Greg Jackson and Winkeljohn know the reason why I’m here, so they said ‘if this is what you want, go ahead. We’re here for your next camp.’ Next camp I will be there, but for this camp I wanna improve something, and this camp has to be here in San Antonio."
Brandao hopes that Diego Sanchez helps him in his camp for McGregor, and he already feels mentally better after moving to San Antonio.
"My mind is in another place," he said. "My tactic is different right now, and my tactic is to go down there and put a great show for the UFC in Ireland, come home and train again. I’m very excited to put a great show for all the people who bought tickets.
"This fight is very important to me because I’m working my mind, working my head, so I know what I can do and I know that the only way to beat this guy is the way I’ve doing my whole life: never stop training, always fighting forward. And I wanna thank Conor again for giving me the opportunity of fighting a big star that he is.
"I’m from Brazil. I came to the United States and fought a lot here, so it’s like the same. My home now is here in San Antonio, Texas, so basically I don’t have issues to fight in another country. UFC puts me more out there. It’s exciting. I love it."
Brandao won’t ignite a trash talk war with McGregor, and he’s not worried about fighting in Ireland either. His only goal is get back to the win column after a first-round loss to Dustin Poirier at UFC 168, and stopping McGregor would be huge for his plans.
"Who has a mouth talks whatever they want. I can’t go there shut his mouth with my hands, this is impossible," he said. "I think it’s disrespectful to go there and try saying something. If he says something, he’s a grown man.
"I don’t care about Conor. This fight is about me, to prove to myself who I am because in the last fight everybody said ‘oh Diego is done.’ Everybody knows how is fighting, it’s up and down, but I’m going up. TUF 14, Diego Brandao is back. It’s the only thing I’m going to say. I can’t (talk) about Conor, he’s already a superstar, and everybody knows him."