After an illness forced the hands of UFC doctors and withdrew him from his main event Flyweight title fight wih Demetrious Johnson at UFC 215, Ray Borg finally has an explanation.
A brief tirade on social media where Borg placed a heavy amount of scorn on members of he MMA media withstanding, Borg has been fairly silent on the issues that befell him in Edmonton. The 24 year old number one contender for the Flyweight crown broke that silence on Monday’s MMA hour.
“The plane ride over there, I was just kinda feeling like sh*t… My body was aching really, really bad, and it was just really, really hard. And it was just kinda like, alright, it is what it is, I’m probably just getting over a tiny cold or just the atmosphere change. And then open media day wasn’t too, too bad; I was feeling a little uncomfortable…It wasn’t until open workouts (that I started to realize it was bad). Open workouts, I felt like I was having to push through a hard, hard workout. Like, I felt like it was one of my hardest training days of fight camp and I was having to push through it. So it was kinda at open workouts where I was really like, ‘This isn’t quite right. I’m feeling absolutely horrible.’”
After returning to his hotel room following the open workouts, he was immediately asleep which worried him and had him starting to think what would have caused this sudden illness?
“After [open workouts], I went to my hotel room, I slept, woke up, started throwing up a little bit, feeling like sh*t, and it was then when I was just — it was one of those things that had to be called… Everyone at Jackson’s, even Greg Jackson himself, came up to me and told me he doesn’t even know how I made it to fight week… Because Greg Jackson was sick as well, and my wife caught it before I did, and just everyone at the gym was just catching it; the flu was going around, a lot of people were staying home sick. I think what really intensified it is a lot of people were also trying to push through it, and a lot of people were training sick (at the gym). So it was just, the flu was going around here in Albuquerque with the weather change and everything. It just so happened to be bad timing.”
Many thought that Borg’s withdrawl was due to a weight cut, as Borg has missed weight twice in his UFC career. Borg also pulled out of a fight with Ian McCall the day prior to their weigh-ins at UFC 203, due to illness. Also adding fuel to the fire was due to Borg parting ways with the nutritionist firm Perfecting Athletes one day following his withdrawal in Edmonton. but Borg maintains it was not his weight that was the cause of the fight being postponed.
“I have done way, way worse weight cuts. This was going to be my easiest weight cut. This weight cut, I went into fight week lighter than what I did when I went to Brazil (for UFC Fortaleza). When I fought in Brazil and I made weight piece of cake — I went into fight week lighter by two pounds this time around than I did when I went to Brazil… I used to do huge weight cuts back in the day when I first started. People don’t remember, I had no problem cutting weight when I first got into the UFC. And they have it on record — I’m sure that they have it on record, what I showed up (weighing). I used to show up at, like, 138 or 137 on fight week my first four to five fights in the UFC, and made weight, cake, like nothing. I never looked depleted, I never wobbled onstage. So it was far from a weight cutting issue.”
After his experience heading into UFC 215, Borg wants to “do what I did to get to the show [UFC]” and not work with a full time nutritionist, and just consult with the staff provided at the UFC’s Performance Institute.
And while Borg didn’t get his chance in Edmonton, in Las Vegas he gets that chance at championship glory that he had taken away.
“This is something I’ve literally been working my whole life for,” Borg said. “People don’t know, I’m only 24, but I’ve been in this game a very, very long time, since I was 13. When I got in this game when I was 13, I was in this game. I wasn’t taking beginner karate classes or jiu-jitsu classes. I was in this fight game at 13. So, to work this hard and get to the point where I want to be, when this happened, of course (I was scared).
“I didn’t know whether or not I was going to get this shot. The turn of events took a very, very hard turn, and it was just a sh*t day, a sh*t week, and I had no clue what was going to go on. I was just moping around my hotel room for like three days because I don’t know what’s going on. They could’ve very, very well (replaced me). Henry Cejudo looked good that night. They could’ve been like, ‘Well, you know, let’s give Henry Cejudo another crack at it,’ or, ‘Sergio (Pettis) just beat (Brandon) Moreno, let’s give him another crack at it.’ But I’m very blessed and I’m very fortunate to still have the opportunity to go in there and face Demetrious Johnson on Oct. 7.”