Caio Borralho vs. Gadzhi Omargadzhiev was elevated to the co-main event spot of UFC Vegas 51 on April 16 after the cancellation of Uriah Hall vs. Andre Muniz. For Borralho, it feels like destiny.
Borralho signed a contract with the UFC after defeating Aaron Jeffery and Jesse Murray in a span of three weeks at Dana White’s Contender Series, extending his winning streak to nine ahead of his UFC debut.
“We’re been working hard for a long time out of the spotlight, training for eight years without people knowing us,” Borralho said in an interview with MMA Fighting. “The world will finally get to see who I am. Part of the world saw us on the Contender, and now the world will see what we’re doing in the co-main event. I’m more than ready.”
Borralho vows to prove he’s the one to watch in a division that’s had Brazilians champions Anderson Silva and Murilo Bustamante in addition to a long list of talents such as Andre Muniz, Alex Pereira, Bruno Blindado and Paulo Costa,
“People will see the new face of Brazilian MMA,” he said. “The new face of Brazilian MMA will debut Saturday, and that’s me, Caio Borralho. I’ve worked really hard to get here and will make a lot of noise, man. I’ll get the mic and make some noise. The UFC will see they signed the right man. I’m the one to sell pay-per-views worldwide, not only in Brazil.”
Borralho, who turned 29 in January, started his MMA career in 2014 but only fought three times in 40 months, going 3-1 in that span. Borralho said he was way too inexperienced in training, forcing him to undergo five shoulder surgeries. Injury-free since 2017, he said he never doubted he would eventually join the UFC.
“I was willing to pay the price to get where I am,” Borralho said. “I could wait five, 10, 15 years, whatever it was. And now, eight years later, here I am, debuting in the co-main event, with [Omargadzhiev] all mapped out.”
With four knockouts and three submissions in 10 professional MMA wins, Borralho said he will show Dana White it was worth putting him in the co-headliner. Omargadzhiev, who is 13-0 as a professional, also joined the company through DWCS, tapping Jansey Silva with a kneebar.
“I’m sure he will try to take me down because he will be annoyed by my distance,” Borralho said of his opponent. “He won’t find me on the feet and will try to throw the overhand. He only fought guys that stood in front of him, which isn’t my style. And he knows how good my jiu-jitsu is. I’ve trained with Demian Maia for six years and I’m a black belt under his coach Wagner Mota.”
“I’m envisioning a knockout with a knee or an uppercut because he’ll shoot at my legs. But if we go longer, I have a good guillotine,” he continued. “He shoots on my good side, and he’ll get lost on the feet. I’ll score points until it’s time to land my hand and knock him out.”