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The sport can be a cruel mistress, as former Ultimate Fighting Championship title challenger Ray Borg has seen over the years.
According to a report from MMA Fighting on Friday, Borg (13-5) has been let go from his UFC contract on the heels of back-to-back fight week withdrawals. Borg is currently tied with Thiago Alves for the most pullouts of any UFC fighter with nine, and had a stretch where six consecutively scheduled bouts from 2018 to 2019 did not come to fruition.
“The Tazmexican Devil” was slated to face Nathan Joseph Maness at UFC Fight Night 173 in August, but on the day of weigh-ins, he withdrew for undisclosed reasons. This affected an already snakebitten card that went ahead with just eight bouts, the fewest since UFC 177 in 2014. Prior to this unsuccessful appearance, Borg was booked against Merab Dvalishvili in June. Two days before the card, Borg removed himself from the event, posting on social media that family needed to come first, without providing any additional explanation. Although the promotion was able to scramble and set up replacement opponents for Maness and Dvalishvili, the damage was done.
More than once, Borg’s withdrawal was completely out of his control, including his time before UFC 223. Prior to the card, Conor McGregor threw a dolly through the window of the bus he was riding, and the glass shattered and entered Borg’s eye. On other instances, Borg has needed to step back from competing to take care of his son who was born with hydrocephalus.
Borg also suffered from weight issues during his time on the roster, skipping past his division’s limit on four separate occasions. Borg is one of a small number of UFC fighters to ever miss weight in multiple weight classes, joining the likes of Alves, John Lineker and Anthony Johnson. On three instances, Borg was unable to make flyweight marks, while against Casey Kenney in 2019, he came in above the bantamweight cap.
The New Mexico native came into the UFC with a perfect record of 6-0 with five stoppage victories in 2014, and he dropped a split verdict to Dustin Ortiz in his debut. Across a UFC career where he was never able to string together a win streak of more than three victories, Borg did vie for the UFC title in 2017. At UFC 216, Borg took on Demetrious Johnson for flyweight gold, only to get tapped by a flying armbar. The submission, which earned “Mighty Mouse” the 2017 Sherdog “Submission of the Year” trophy, was the closest Borg ever came to sitting on a UFC throne.