Paulo Borrachinha‘s initial plan wasn’t to fight the former UFC welterweight champion, Johny Hendricks, but instead, fight his fellow countryman Vitor Belfort.
Unfortunately for Borrachinha, his request was denied with Belfort stating that the only Brazilian he was interested in fighting was Anderson Silva. Reflecting on how it all unfolded now, Borrachinha accepts that Hendricks is a fight that makes more sense for him.
“I like this fight,” Borrachinha told MMA Fighting. “I think Johny Hendricks is a tougher challenge. He’s a former champion… I believe it will be a great fight. I will knock him out.”
“I think that he’s physically better than Vitor now,” Borrachinha said of Hendricks. “He has good takedowns, has a good wrestling, so that makes him a more dangerous fighter.”
Both Hendricks and Belfort are not enjoying good runs at the moment. “Big Rigg” is 1-4 in his last five fights, including two losses by KO, and the Brazilian is 1-2-(1) in his last four. To the contrary, Borrachinha has a perfect 10-0 professional record, with only one win outside the first round.
As far of how the relationship may be with his former teammate, Borrachinha has a clear head when it comes to mixing work and friendship.
“I’m not Vitor’s friend, I have no relationship with him and never actually wanted it,” Borrachinha said. “When I trained with him it wasn’t for friendship or anything like that. He called me and paid me to help him. It’s not like I didn’t want to be friends, but it simply didn’t happen. It was just professional. There’s no reason for him to be upset. If he was my friend I’d think twice about it, but he’s just another fighter ranked in the division that would help me move up the ranking. It’s simple.”
Finally, with nine first-round knockouts in his record, Borrachinha sees Hendricks getting the same treatment on November 4.
“I see myself knocking him out”
“I don’t think he gets past [the first round], no. I’ll probably enter the top 15 if I win this fight, so this is the most biggest fight of my life.”