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Caio Borralho: Third UFC co-main event spot in 12 months means ‘they know my potential’

UFC Fight Night: Dos Anjos v Fiziev Weigh-in
Caio Borralho
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Caio Borralho has co-headlined every single non-pay-per-view UFC card he’s been in since joining the promotion in April 2022 and it’s no different Saturday, when he meets Michal Oleksiejczuk in the penultimate fight at UFC Vegas 72.

Unbeaten in six octagon appearances, a run that includes two victories on Dana White’s Contender Series, Borralho says that being near the top of Fight Night cards means that UFC officials see how special the 30-year-old middleweight prospect is.

“Even though I haven’t finished any of my [UFC] fights, which is something the UFC and Dana White like, they know who they are dealing with,” Borralho said on this week’s Trocação Franca podcast. “They know my potential. They know I talk well, that I’m a Brazilian who speaks English fluently. I’ve won decisions but not many people pay attention to the fact I’m the only middleweight prospect that’s only fighting tough guys. Other prospects coming are fighting guys on four-fight losing skids or 1-5 in their past six.”

UFC Vegas 72 marks the first match of his new contract with the company, Borralho said, and he’s “super excited” to start with the right foot in Las Vegas after beating Gadzhi Omargadzhiev, Armen Petrosyan and Makhmud Muradov in his first three UFC bouts.

“I had no easy life in the UFC,” Borralho said. “My first UFC fight I fought a Dagestani that was 13-0. My second fight was Armen Petrosyan, a world champion in kickboxing who was had five knockout wins [in MMA]. And then I fought Muradov, who won 14 of his previous 15. The UFC has tried to test me every time and I’ve won every time. The UFC sees that. They know the talent they have in their hands. I’m working hard, man. I want to get to the belt undefeated and I’ll work really hard for that.”

Borralho recalls meeting Oleksiejczuk previously in Las Vegas, and even shared a sauna with him prior to his win over Sam Alvey in August 2022. Borralhos said it was a friendly meeting, quite different than his beef with previous Russian opponents, when he learned to speak Russian to talk trash during the face-off.

The Brazilian talent is focused on getting his hands raised at the UFC APEX this Saturday, but already knows who to call out next if victorious: Kelvin Gastelum, who recently won a decision over Chris Curtis but has since voiced his interest of cutting down to welterweight.

“That’s a good fight because Kelvin has great boxing, good takedown defense and slightly good grappling,” Borralho said of the past title contender, who has won just two of his past seven since 2019. “I think that would be a great challenge to send a message to the division. I think I’ve been sending good messages, most of the middleweights are afraid of my grappling already.

“I think it would be a good clash of southpaws. I have a great shot at beating him, but for now I’m focused on Michal. My next step is beating this tough Polish dude, put a beating on him, submission or knockout — or a decision, whatever. What matters the most is adding another green to my Tapology and continue my journey.”

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