The confusion involving Khamzat Chimaev and Paulo Borrachinha at the UFC Performance Institute (UFC PI), this Monday, shook the UFC backstage. After exchanging insults between the Brazilian and the Chechen team, the two were separated and published videos of what happened. Caio Borralho, the organization’s middleweight who has been training with Chimaev lately, followed closely what happened and gave his version of events.
– I was there in the cabin, actually (laughs). I didn’t understand at the time what was happening, but Borrachinha was training in the PI with Jake Shields, who is on Nate’s team. I think the guys on the Khamzat team realized that too. If I’m not mistaken, Borrachinha had said that Chimaev was not the gangster, that he was a “Chechen Nutella” and such. But Chimaev’s coach is (Alan) Finfou, who is Brazilian and looks at all the interviews. He passed it on to Chimaev. When we finished training, Borrachinha was on the other mat training, and Chimaev went there to be satisfied. There was a ruckus, shouting, Finfou got in the middle too. We separated so as not to give too much away, but that was basically it. Chimaev was kind of hurt by how Borrachinha said in the interview. I was a little confused at the time. I just wanted to stay close so I wouldn’t let anything bad happen-he said, combat.com.
Caio Borralho was with Khamzat Chimaev in the fight with Paulo Borrachinha — Photo: Evelyn Rodrigues
Borralho also explained that he was in an embarrassing situation, as he also gets along well with Borrachinha.
– I’m training with Chimaev, people from the whole team, I’m with them, but I know Borrachinha, I get along well with him, I’ve spent 10 days training with him in his city. It was a snooker.
After the discussion, which Caio said was taken by surprise, he stated that it didn’t take long for Chimaev to calm down, after all, this Saturday he will face Nate Diaz in the main event of UFC 279, in Las Vegas (USA).
– The mood was a little changed, until we entered the bathroom, the whole team was there. Then it even became a joke, we laughed at how things happened, because in the end it ends up being good. Nothing much happened, but it ended up being good for the image, for selling the fight, for everything. I see it like this. It’s not something we talk about, but I see it that way. It ended up being good both for this fight, and maybe for a next fight if Chimaev goes up to 84kg and they fight. So it ended up building ways for more big fights to happen.
Caio Borralho and his team were concerned that the discussion would distract from the confrontation with Diaz. The meeting with the American’s team, of which Jake Shields is a part, also raises concerns about possible new incidents between the two teams.
– That’s what we were talking about at the time we were separating: “Let’s not leave this energy to us, let’s go there”. That’s why everyone ended up going to the locker room. And everyone said: “That was good just to sell pay-per-view. Let’s not talk about it anymore, we’re in such good energy, fight week, we’re fine, let’s just let it go.” Today no one spoke about it. It’s fine. It is a subject that has been overcome and has to be overcome because a lot is coming. This week we meet Nate Diaz’s team. Then there’s a press conference, weight loss… There’s still a lot to happen. We’ve been worried here too, but we’re here for Chimaev, we’re going to get this win. I hope there’s no confusion, nothing too much, nothing that disrespects the martial art, but we’re ready for anything.
For Caio Borralho, the episode between Chimaev and Borrachinha paved the way for the Chechen to face the Brazilian after the duel against Nate Diaz.
– Certainly. Chimaev passes Nate and what happens is that he will end up waiting until the end of next year because there will be Usman’s rematch with Leon Edwards and then only at the end of the year could he compete for the 77kg belt. So he’ll probably want to venture into the 84kg. Chimaev has a very big name, Borrachinha too, both of them have a lot of followers. I think it makes a lot of sense. He doesn’t get that heavy when he’s off, so maybe they go for the 77kg division. But I think he would do well in the 84kg division, because he’s very strong, very athletic, I see that he’s a guy who arrives very strong in the 84kg division as well. It has easy top 10 level. He might even be champion.
September 10, 2022 in Las Vegas (USA)
MAIN CARD (23:00 GMT):
Welterweight: Khamzat Chimaev vs Nate Diaz
Welterweight: Li Jingliang vs Tony Ferguson
Welterweight: Kevin Holland vs Daniel Rodriguez
Bantamweight: Irene Aldana vs Macy Chiasson
Light Heavyweight: Johnny Walker vs Ion Cutelaba
PRELIMINARY CARD (7 pm, Brasília time):
Featherweight: Hakeem Dawodu vs Julian Erosa
Heavyweight: Jailton Malhadinho vs Anton Turkalj
Middleweight: Denis Tiuliulin vs Jamie Pickett
Heavyweight: Jake Collier vs Chris Barnett
Featherweight: Norma Dumont vs Danyelle Wolf
Bantamweight: Chad Anheliger vs Heili Alateng
Strawweight: Melissa Martinez vs Elise Reed
Welterweight: Darian Weeks vs Yohann Lainesse
UFC 279 has a tough live and exclusive duel in Combat — Photo: Arte Combate
UFC 279 has a tough live duel exclusive to Combat!