Paulo Borrachinha will not face Vitor Belfort at UFC 217, like he had originally agreed to, but the Brazilian believes the man he’ll face poses a bigger threat.

After taking out Oluwale Bamgbose in June, which was Borrachinha’s second stoppage win since joining the UFC, he was reportedly offered a November 4th bout with Belfort. Borrachinha agreed to the contest, but Belfort apparently opted against it, as “The Phenom’s” reportedly hoping to rematch Anderson Silva next. Ultimately, former welterweight champ Johny Hendricks was offered the bout, and now “Bigg Rigg” will battle Borrachinha at UFC 217.

Well, recently Borrachinha spoke with MMA Fighting, and while doing so, the rising fighter had this to say:

“I like this fight,” Borrachinha said. “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 added. “He has good takedowns, has a good wrestling, so that makes him a more dangerous fighter.”

That’s an interesting take on the situation. There’s no doubt that Hendricks has better wrestling pedigree than Belfort, but, he’s only scored one win in his last five fights. While Belfort only has two wins in his last five contests, “The Phenom” is taller than Hendricks and has competed at 185 for years.

Borrachina was also asked about the negative reaction he apparently received from some fans, for calling out the legendary Belfort. The argument being that since he’s relatively new to the UFC, and isn’t ranked in the top 15, he shouldn’t be campaigning for a fight with the Brazilian star.

“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…”

There you have it. It will be interesting to see if Borrachina can score another big win at UFC 217. Hendricks is in desperate need of a victory, following his stoppage loss to Tim Boetsch (in a fight where Hendricks missed weight).