Once a flyweight, and still sounding wistful for his 125lb days, Ray Borg is back at bantamweight at UFC Jacksonville. There, he takes on Ricky Simon, with a chance to put together a three-fight win streak.
Borg, unlike many fighters, hasn’t been overly impacted by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Instead, it’s been mostly business as usual for the New Mexico-based fighter.
“Given the circumstances, given that it’s kind of a few weeks’ notice deal, I fee like I’ve been one of the fortunate ones, to be able to train a little more than most,” Borg told media outlets including Cageside Press at Monday’s virtual media day. “I have access to a lot of resources out there in New Mexico. It really made it a lot easier to be able to go out and get in the work that I need for this fight.”
In all, Borg called it a “pretty close to normal training camp,” minus the time span in which he had to get ready for the fight.
The bout takes place at 135lbs, and it feels like Borg’s flyweight days are over. Though given the choice, he’d still make the cut.
“Given that I missed weight at 25 again, it was the UFC’s decision,” said Borg. “And not just that, given that all these fighters are having to cut weight on just two week’s [notice], I also think that [played] a big part of it.”
Asked point-blank if he’d move back down, Borg replied saying that “honestly that’s not my decision anymore. That’s kind of a decision up the head honchos, as far as that goes. But I still feel I can make 25. This last one, I was super confident going into it, I made some more technical errors.” Those errors had Borg following up with the UFC Performance Institute to find out where he went wrong.
It wasn’t that he didn’t have the will to cut weight, Borg insisted. Rather, “there were some errors done on my end. Ultimately it was my fault, who made those errors, on how I proceeded to go with the weight cut, and my choices on how I was going to do the weight cut.”
Borg was confident, he said, that he could have made weight given more time back at UFC Rio Rancho in February. It’s bantamweight for now, however. But if you’re wondering why he’d want to endure the problematic cut to flyweight, it’s simple: “I like the way my body performs at 25. I’m lighter, I’m faster, I’m strong at that weight class. I guess just a preference on where I started fighting since day one. It’s where I’m comfortable at I guess.”
Bantamweight has a whole new landscape as of UFC 249, so perhaps it’s just as well that Ray Borg is sticking around. Henry Cejudo retired following his win over Dominick Cruz at the event. The champ is just 33-years-old. Well, former champ now.
However, like many others, Borg questions that retirement. “A lot of us think it’s just negotiation tactics on his end,” he admitted. “But at the same time,” Borg added, “I could possibly see him retire, for as long as he’s been at combat sports.”
Ray Borg himself isn’t sure he sees himself fighting past 34, given he was in the UFC at 20 years old. “I started training full-on MMA when I was 13 years old. So I’ve been in this sport for a really long time.”
A lot will depend on how his body feels, Borg noted. But he can relate to Cejudo’s decision. “He’s at the mountaintop. Everyone wants to go out on top. No one wants to keep risking fights and losing and things like that.”