The co-main event of UFC Vegas 72 sees an intriguing middleweight matchup between two fighters aiming to propel themselves towards the top 15 rankings. Brazilian Caio Borralho welcomes former UFC light heavyweight Michal Oleksiejczuk to a dance inside the octagon inside the UFC Apex.
It’s a classic grappler vs striker, and a rising middleweight prospect in Borralho taking on one of the hardest hitting European’s in the sport in Oleksiejczuk who has reignited his UFC career following a successful drop down in division.
So, let’s wait no more and break down Saturday night’s co-main event in Las Vegas before offering our Caio Borralho vs Michal Oleksiejczuk prediction.
Caio Borralho Preview: 10 Wins In A Row And Looking For More
Borralho is primarily a grappler, but he has a well rounded skill set. It’s a skill set that has helped the Sao Luis native nail a perfect record since his arrival in the UFC. A two fight veteran in season five of Dana White’s Contender Series, the Brazilian went two for two on the show to impress the UFC president and earn a UFC roster spot.
Made good on his second attempt!!
— UFC Canada (@UFC_CA) October 20, 2021
Since signing for the promotion, ‘The Natural’ has notched three wins from his first three fights, defeating Gadzhi Omargadzhiev, Armen Petrosyan and Makhmud Muradov all via decision.
With a black belt in Brazilian Ju-Jitsu and a brown belt in Judo, Borralho is a master at many parts of the game. His best strength, as you can imagine, are his abilities on the ground. His submission grappling may become a problem for Olekseijczuk if this fight does head to the mat. Borralho has also been training with Khamzat Chimaev, who we think knows a thing or two about grappling. His erratic style on the feet has become more refined throughout his experience in the UFC, and has learned to pick his shots more carefully to land with more efficiency.
Michal Olekseijczuk Preview: Hard Hitting Pole Has Power To Cause Upset
A member of the UFC roster since 2017, Michal Olekseijczuk is 6-3 with one no contest since his arrival in MMA’s biggest promotion. Entering the organization fighting in the light heavyweight division, his record is more than respectable in a division that is as deep as they come.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) October 30, 2021
Following a decision loss to Dustin Jacoby in March of last year, Olekseijczuk made the decision to move down a weight division and it has worked a treat. Two devastating first KO victories over Sam Alvey and Cody Brundage have put the division on notice, and this fight against Borralho is an excellent opportunity for the Pole to keep the momentum rolling.
Oleksiejczuk is not as well rounded as his opponent, but certainly possesses the power advantage. He loves to walk towards his opponents towards the fence while always looking for that knockout shot. With good covering defence, Oleksiejczuk can dictate control of the octagon if he gets into his groove. It will prove key to exert constant pressure to set up the big shots that could dictate the course of this fight.
Caio Borralho vs Michal Olekseijczuk Prediction: Who’s Gonna Win At UFC Vegas 72?
Caio Borralho has been given the significant edge in the betting odds ever since the lines opened for this co-main event. The line currently sits at:
The Brazilian is deservedly the favorite, but once again the hype around a product coming off Dana White’s Contender Series has inflated his odds.
On the feet, the Pole has the advantage. Olekseijczuk will have to try everything in his power to keep this fight standing, but his lack of takedown defense will be a worry. Borralho will look to exploit this and take this fight to the floor to flex his grappling and submission game muscle. Expect Borralho to use his hands and quick level changes to set up the takedown.
The odds feel disrespectful to the underdog Olekseijczuk however. The heavy hands of the European could set up a big upset in this co-main event, as proven by his last two wins. With 13 career wins via KO, all ‘Hussar’ needs is one big one to land.
Caio Borralho’s Grappling To Prove To Much for Michal Olekseijczuk
Look, if you want to have a small flutter on a Michal Olekseijczuk knockout, I don't blame you. The odds will be good and ‘Hussar’ has the tools to do it. The problem is his opponent has excellent skills across a wider skillset.
Olekseijczuk struggles with his takedown and submission defense, two areas in which Borralho will look to target and take advantage of. If he can do this, he is in an excellent position to control where this fight goes. If we get into the later stages of the fight and Borralho is in control on the mat, ‘The Natural’ will look to pounce and gain his first UFC submission victory.
So, our official Borralho vs Olekseijczuk is a victory for the Brazilian. The oddsmakers have this fight more onesided than they should, but Borralho’s all round game should be enough to notch his forth UFC victory in as many fights.