Caio Borralho didn’t get a win the way he wanted but he’ll still leave UFC Vegas 51 with a victory in his octagon debut.
While the Brazilian newcomer was dominating the fight, he threw a knee late in the third round with opponent Gadzhi Omargadzhiev’s hand still on the canvas, which means he was considered a downed opponent. The knee blasted Omargadzhiev with referee Dan Miragliotta rushing in to call the foul, which led to him taking a point away from Borralho.
When Omargadzhiev was unable to continue, the fight was stopped but Miragliotta then called Borralho’s strike an “accidental foul,” which put the decision in the hands of the judges. All three officials scored the fight 29-27 with Borralho getting the nod by technical decision.
“I didn’t want to win like this,” Borralho said. “But I was dominating the entire fight. I think I did a great job. I didn’t see [he was down] so I’m sorry to everyone. I’m sorry for Gadzhi and his team. I didn’t want to win like that.”
Prior to the bizarre stoppage, Borralho was winning in lopsided fashion as he beat Omargadzhiev in every facet of the fight both on the feet and on the ground. Borralho launched several flying knees while also showcasing serious power in his strikes.
On the ground, Borralho was just as suffocating as he consistently put Omargadzhiev in trouble including a near submission with a Suloev stretch. After two rounds, Borralho was up big and likely cruising towards a victory.
Knowing he was down big on the cards, Omargadzhiev tried going for broke during the final five minutes but Borralho was just countering at every turn with superior skill.
That’s when disaster struck as Borralho saw an opening to unleash a vicious knee strike and while Omargadzhiev’s knees were off the canvas, he still had a hand down and that counted as an illegal blow. A few moments later, Omargadzhiev was still dazed from the shot and deemed unable to continue.
While Borralho was penalized for the foul with a point deduction, his strike was still called accidental in the end, which allowed him to leave the UFC APEX with a victory as the Contender Series veteran gets a win in the co-main event.