September 8, 2017

UFC 215: Ray Borg Shouldn't Have Been Trusted With A Main Event Spot

By Adam Martin

Another UFC main event has been canceled. This time, Ray Borg has pulled out of Saturday night's UFC 215 flyweight title fight opposite champion Demetrious Johnson due to an illness, and the bantamweight title co-main event between Valentina Shevchenko and Amanda Nunes will now go on as the new main event.

While it's disappointing that Johnson and Borg will not fight now, it's not surprising at all that this fight was canceled. After all, the warning signs were there.

Though Borg's camp insists this pullout has nothing to do with his weight cut, it's hard to believe that Borg -- who cuts a ton of weight to make 125 -- wasn't feeling the negative effects of a poor weight cut, and it wouldn't be the first time he had. Borg has actually missed weight in two of his last four UFC fights, and even in the fights when he made weight it was a struggle for him to get down to the flyweight limit. He's a fighter who pushes the boundaries of a big weight cut, and despite his camp saying otherwise, it seems obvious a bad weight cut didn't help matters this week with his illness.

In addition to officially missing weight in two fights, Borg also was forced to pull out of a fight against Ian McCall due to a bad weight cut. As well, Borg has pulled out of two fights due to injury, which is a terrible ratio of showing up for somehow who has just seven UFC fights. Fighters such as Jose Aldo and Khabib Nurmagomedov get flak from fans for pulling out of fights, but Borg hasn't really gotten any up to this point. After this UFC 215 fiasco, though, he's sure to draw the ire of fans, as well as the wrath of UFC president Dana White.

Ironically, Borg only got this fight because Johnson claimed TJ Dillashaw -- who the UFC wanted to have fight Johnson in a superfight -- hadn't proven he could make 125. After a series of negotiations for Johnson's next fight played out in the public eye, the UFC recanted and gave the champ Borg, who Johnson felt would make weight and fight. Well, now this happened.

In another twist of irony, the Shevchenko vs. Nunes fight will now be the main event, only two months after this fight was cancelled for UFC 213 due to a bad weight cut for Nunes. White said the UFC would never book Nunes for a main event again, at least until she could prove she could make the weight. White should have also mentioned that's as long as another fight isn't cancelled due to a weight cut.

Although Borg was likely going to get thrashed by Johnson, who was looking to break Anderson Silva's title defense record, this was still an interesting fight on paper due to Borg's submission and scrambling abilities on the ground. It's possible the UFC could rebook the fight for a future card, and the plan is to do so for UFC 216 in October, but at the same time, how do you trust Borg in a title fight anymore?

Regardless of why Borg pulled out of the fight, it's really disappointing to see yet another UFC main event go up in flames at the last minute. You have to feel bad for the fans in Edmonton, Alberta, who are getting the short end of the stick just like fans in Calgary did back at the cursed UFC 149 show. The UFC is offering refunds for the card, but fans just wanted to see some fights. Blame Borg for this one, as ultimately this is on him and his team. Now the question is, can Borg's career recover from this, or is he just going to turn into another Johny Hendricks whose career was ruined from bad weight cuts. Let's wait and find out.

UFC 215: Johnson vs. Borg takes place September 9, 2017 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

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