Two exciting prospects are set to square off as the co-main event on Saturday night at UFC Vegas 58.
Caio “The Natural” Borralho, 29, won his UFC debut via technical decision after earning a UFC contract following a first-round knockout on Dana White’s Contender Series. His professional record is 11-1, with seven finish victories and his sole loss coming by decision.
Armen “Superman” Petrosyan, 31, is 7-1 as a professional, with seven of his eight fights ending via knockout. The only time Petrosyan went to the judges was his UFC debut; he won a split over Gregory Rodrigues.
Borralho opened as a slight favorite but has steadily grown to a moderate favorite over Petrosyan.
Borralho is a large, light-footed, well-rounded fighter with an interesting and marketable personality. The UFC is clearly excited about both Borralho and Petrosyan as they are the co-main in only their second fights. Borralho, in the octagon, keeps distance well through solid feints and footwork. Despite being a strong and dense 185’er, Borralho bounces well on his toes and is able to maneuver the octagon with fluidity. He has a powerful left hand, specifically his straight left, which he throws without needing to load up.
“The Natural” does have lower volume on the feet because he tends to use his movement as bait to illicit ill-advised shots from his opponent. Then, Borralho will counter with an edge in speed and power. The most notable aspect of Borralho’s UFC debut was his wrestling and grappling. He showcased solid takedown defense, comfort on the mat, decent jiu-jitsu, and, most of all, impressive scrambling and ability to flip positions. He racked up over 10 minutes of control time against a primary wrestler while only landing one of his own takedowns. His debut demonstrated Borralho’s well-rounded game and ability to reverse vulnerable positions into advantageous ones.
Petrosyan, in his debut, out-kick-boxed a veteran UFC striker in Gregory Rodrigues. Prior to signing with the UFC, Petrosyan was an aggressive kickboxer who hunted for and achieved several first-round finishes. But, in his debut, “Superman” demonstrated more of a patient counterstriking approach. He showed solid hand speed and snapping kicks with good volume, pressure, and reliable cardio.
Defensively, Petrosyan was hittable, rarely moving off the center line, and relied heavily on his toughness and chin. In kickboxing matches, Petrosyan has thudding power, snapping speed, and proved an ability to enter a war only to come out the other side victoriously. MMA is not kickboxing, though, and Petrosyan struggles with a core tenant of the sport- wrestling. Petrosyan has poor defensive wrestling. His scrambling is effective so long as he has the edge in athleticism and strength. If not, Petrosyan can be taken and held down for long periods.
This fight is dangerous for both men. Petrosyan has fight-ending power, and Borralho can be caught moving into strikes when on his bike. Petrosyan could end the fight at any moment, but I like Borralho to fight intelligently here. Look for him to mix in a healthy amount of clinch work and wrestling for a win.
Prediction: Caio Borralho to win (-235 odds at MyBookie)