RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — All it took for Paulo Borrachinha was a 77-second beatdown to go from the preliminary’s opening bout to main card of a pay-per-view, and the unbeaten middleweight wants more.
"I’m growing fast in the UFC," Borrachinha told MMA Fighting ahead of his UFC 212 clash with Oluwale Bamgbose on Saturday night. "From now on, people will be more cautious knowing about my knockout power and will respect me even more."
"He’s another tough opponent,” Borrachinha continued, "but it doesn’t change anything compared to my first opponent in the UFC. I can knock him out quickly, even faster than the first one. I’m confident this fight will be over in the first minutes.”
Borrachinha is a massive 26-year-old middleweight with a 9-0 record who impressed against Garreth McLellan, but failed in his first attempt to enter the UFC. Selected to be on The Ultimate Fighter Brazil in 2014, Borrachinha left the show after a controversial split decision defeat to season finalist Marcio Alexandre Jr..
"The Ultimate Fighter doesn’t show who you truly are because it’s not your regular training camp,” Borrachinha said. "You're locked inside a house without your coaches and training partners. You fight under different conditions. Everything changes. You have to make weight every week.
"That was a good life experience, but didn’t teach me much in terms of fighting. I had very few fights before the show, I was young and inexperienced. I won two belts in Brazil after TUF, Jungle Fight and Max Fight, and I have way more experience now."
In fact, Borrachinha is actually glad he didn’t beat Alexandre Jr. to advance in the reality show.
"If I had made into he UFC back then, I wouldn’t have the same experience I have today, that’s for sure,” Borrachinha said. "Everything I went through outside the UFC helped me become the fighter I am today. I would have had to learn everything in the UFC, and all that pressure for the win will be all over me."
The young Brazilian is not the type of fighter who wants to take his time and slowly move up the rankings. In fact, he already speaks openly about winning the middleweight belt that belonged to Anderson Silva for a decade.
"I’m in a hurry to get things done,” Borrachinha said. "I got in the UFC in March, I’m fighting in June now, and I believe my next fight can be against someone ranked in the top 15. Putting on a good performance in this fight, I’ll face someone ranked in the top next. And I want to get to the belt with three more fights.
"I’m the one (to win the belt). I’m the new generation of Brazilian MMA. My plan is to bring this belt back to Brazil in a short period of time. We need this."