Paulo Borrachinha is facing the biggest test of his professional MMA career when he battles former UFC Welterweight Champion Johny Hendricks at UFC 217.
Despite the tough challenge ahead, the Brazilian fighter plan on getting the first round knockout against the former champion.
"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 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."
Borrachinha had wanted to fight former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Vitor Belfort, but the Brazilian MMA legend promptly turned him down.
Even though Belfort turned down the fight, it was Borrachina who faced the majority of the criticism from the Brazilian community.
"I truly don’t care about fans’ opinions, the good or bad ones,” Borrachinha stated. "Fans are too biased, sometimes they like a fighter and will defend him for the rest of their lives no matter what happens, if he’s doing well or not. I don't take people’s opinions into consideration because many of them don’t know how fights works. Many of them don’t even know where Vitor is in the rankings right now. I saw people saying ‘you're calling Vitor out, you should call out (Yoel) Romero or (Michael) Bisping because they are in better shape now.’ They don’t know there’s a ranking, so I don’t care what they say. I do what I think is right and that’s it."
UFC 217 takes place on Saturday, November 4 from Madison Square Garden in New York, New York with Michael Bisping and Georges St. Pierre headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.