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Diego Brandao arrested on felony charges after allegedly pistol-whipping man outside strip club

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

A UFC fighter was arrested last week for allegedly pistol-whipping a man outside an Albuquerque strip club.

Diego Brandao was booked Friday night on four felony counts, including one for assault with great bodily harm and three for assault with a deadly weapon, according to documents obtained from the Albuquerque (N.M.) Police Department.

The UFC featherweight was released from the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center on $15,000 bond Saturday after a felony first appearance. Brandao, 28, will not provide a plea unless he is indicted. The Bernalillo County district attorney's office has 10 days to decide whether or not to pursue the case.

According to the police incident report, Brandao was at the strip club Knockouts in Albuquerque early Thursday morning and asked to leave the establishment after a disagreement with the DJ. After attempting to get back in, Brandao allegedly punched bouncer Anthony Romero and others outside. The fighter allegedly left the scene then before returning with a gun. Club patron Lavon King told police that Brandao pointed the gun at him and hit bar employee Patrick Otero with it. Otero said Brandao used the butt of the gun to hit strike on the chin.

Officers at the scene said they did not observe any significant physical damage to any of the alleged victims. Otero did send a photo of his chin to cops afterward and a "small abrasion" was observed. Brandao allegedly left the scene before police arrived.

Brandao's team said it would not be releasing any comment at this time. The UFC issued a statement Sunday regarding the incident:

We are aware that UFC featherweight Diego Brandao was arrested Friday following an altercation at a business establishment in Albuquerque, N.M. We are in the process of gathering more information at this time.

While we are concerned by the nature of the reported allegations, it is important to note that Brandao is entitled to due process in a court of law.

We will have no further comment until more information can be gathered.

Brandao is currently serving a temporary suspension from the Nevada Athletic Commission after he tested positive for marijuana in relation to his fight with Brian Ortega at UFC 195 on Jan. 2. His disciplinary hearing is scheduled for Tuesday. Brandao lost that fight to Ortega by third-round submission. He won two in a row before that.

Brandao (20-11) won The Ultimate Fighter 14 featherweight title in 2011. He sports a 6-4 record in the UFC.

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