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Caio Borralho: Gadzhi Omargadzhiev started ‘acting’ after noticing illegal knee at UFC Vegas 51

Caio Borralho defeated Gadzhi Omargadzhiev to win his UFC debut in Las Vegas.
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Caio Borralho was victorious in his UFC debut, but it didn’t go as planned against Gadzhi Omargadzhiev.

Taking on the undefeated Russian in the co-main event of UFC Vegas 51 this past Saturday at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Borralho won via technical decision after an illegal knee to the head thrown by him forced a premature end midway through round three.

Referee Dan Miragliotta took a point away from Borralho, but Omargadzhiev couldn’t return to the fight. Instead of disqualifying the Brazilian, Miragliotta went to the scorecards for a technical decision. Borralho won every round in all three scorecards, making it an unanimous 29-27 after the point deduction.

“I thought he was getting back up because his right hand was already off the ground, but I couldn’t see the left hand from my angle,” Borralho said. “The referee saw I had the intention to throw the strike but I didn’t have the intention to throw an illegal strike. The referee and the doctor cleared [Omargadzhiev] to continue but he chose not to, and that’s why we went to the scorecards.”

Some of UFC’s top stars took on Twitter that night to weigh in on the controversy, with Daniel Cormier, Aljamain Sterling and Justin Gaethje disagreeing with Miragliotta’s call.

“I didn’t have the intention and the referee is the one who makes the call. He could have disqualified me or not, he interpreted it that way,” Borralho said. “Enough of fighters winning by acting, you know? You saw the Russian didn’t feel the [knee], he kept looking at the referee. He put his hands on his head after he saw that it was an illegal strike, so I think that’s why the referee acted the way he did.”

Borralho is happy to “fulfil his dream” in the UFC and believes the controversy won’t downplay his performance in Las Vegas, “dominating an undefeated world champion in sambo on the ground and sending a message to the division.”

On a three-fight winning streak inside the octagon that includes two victories at Dana White’s Contender Series in 2021, Borralho now calls for a DWCS vs. The Ultimate Fighter clash with Bryan Battle in July or August.

“Bryan Battle is a good name and he’s coming off two wins,” Borralho said of the TUF 28 middleweight winner, who beat Tresean Gore via decision after submitting Gilbert Urbina to capture the reality show trophy. “We can do the best of TUF against the best of the Contender. But I’m open to whatever the UFC brings me.”