Welcome to the UFC: Casey Kenney

Casey Kenney UFC
Credit: LFA Facebook

Ray Borg is on his third opponent for UFC Philadelphia, with Casey Kenney stepping up to fight the former title challenger on a week’s notice.

The UFC is coming to Pennsylvania, on March 30 for UFC Philadelphia. As the card is basically set in stone, former flyweight title challenger Ray Borg was set to take on Pingyuan Liu. Liu was then forced to pull out due to injury and Kyler Phillips got the call-up. Due to unknown reasons, Phillips pulled out as well. Now the UFC has brought in Kenney on super short-notice.

Get to Know Casey Kenney:

Casey Kenney was born in Portland, Indiana, and is now living in Tucson, Arizona. Kenney grew up doing judo and wrestling as he is ranked as a black belt in judo. After some friends talked him into it, he made his amateur MMA debut on three days’ notice. He trains out of Rise Combat Sports with owner/head coach and former UFC flyweight title challenger Chris Cariaso. He made his pro debut on December of 2014 and would rack up a 6-0-1 record. In that span, he won the Tachi PF flyweight title. In 2017 on the Contender Series, Kenney made two appearances with a win over CJ Hamilton and a split-decision loss to Adam Antolin. Since that loss, Kenney is now on a four-fight win streak all under the LFA banner. In his last two bouts, he won the LFA interim flyweight and the bantamweight title being the first double-champ in promotion history. Kenney is now 11-1-1 and a UFC fighter.

How Does Casey Kenney Fare in the UFC?

Kenney is long overdue for a UFC stint as he’s a legit talent with a bright future. In his last four wins, his opponents had a combined record of 34-12. He is extremely solid all around with his stand-up and uses a little bit of everything such as knees, leg kicks, and head kicks. He also has exceptional counter-striking. On the mat, Casey is very good and his wrestling and judo to get there are spectacular. Not only is he dangerous with a double-leg takedown, he also uses his judo for trip takedowns and hip tosses. While on the mat, he is very heavy on top and can transition well. Kenney actively goes for submissions although it is his superior grappling that is key. His takedown defense has been shaky in the past and it’s called for a few close decisions. He has drastically improved over the years and I think he’s a real threat in the division.

How Casey Kenney Matches Up with Ray Borg:

Injuries sometimes tie the UFC’s hands when finding a short notice opponent for a former title challenger like Borg. Kenney is in a win-win spot here because he will be a big underdog and Borg really doesn’t have a lot to gain with a win. If the fight hits the mat, Borg will be in his world, but Kenney is at his best there as well. On the feet, Borg is savvy, but I think Kenney is even better. Borg though has fought much better competition, making him the favorite. Kenney is at +325 and rightfully so being on such short-notice against a guy like Borg. That being said, I like Kenney in this fight and I think he matches up very well. If you’re a betting man, I’d take Kenney.

Correction: the original version of this story listed Kenney as being from Portland, Oregon. He was actually born in Portland, Indiana.