Category Archives: Ray Borg

UFC 215: Latest fight card and trailer – with champ Demetrious Johnson chasing a major record

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Sure, another major event has captured the spotlight, but the UFC soon returns with a pay-per-view event.

UFC officials have largely cleared their August schedule to throw their promotional muscle behind the Aug. 26 boxing mega-fight between UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) and Floyd Mayweather (49-0 boxing). But on Sept. 9, the UFC hosts UFC 215, a championship doubleheader.

The PPV event takes place Sept. 9 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and the main card follows prelims on FX and UFC Fight Pass.

Check out a preview of the event – and its top three fights – above.

In the main event, flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson (26-2-1 MMA, 14-1-1 UFC) looks for his record 11th consecutive title defense when he takes on challenger Ray Borg (11-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC).

Johnson, who’s No. 1 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA flyweight rankings (and No. 2 pound-for-pound), could break middleweight great Anderson Silva’s longstanding title-defense record if victorious. “Mighty Mouse” is currently a 10-1 favorite to beat No. 5-ranked Borg, who’s won two straight and five of his past six, though he missed weight on two occasions.

In the co-headliner, women’s bantamweight titleholder and No. 1-ranked female 135-pounder Amanda Nunes (14-4 MMA, 7-1 UFC) rematches No. 2-ranked Valentina Shevchenko (14-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC). Nunes, who took the title from Miesha Tate during her current five-fight winning streak, also defeated No. 2-ranked Shevchenko via unanimous decision during her current run. Shevchenko has since rebounded with wins over ex-champ Holly Holm (decision) and Julianna Pena (submission).

UFC 215 also features a major heavyweight clash as ex-champ and No. 5-ranked Junior Dos Santos (18-5 MMA, 12-4 UFC) takes on No. 9 Francis Ngannou (10-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC). Although Dos Santos lost to champ Stipe Miocic in his most recent bout, a title shot could be on the line for him or Ngannou, who’s won nine straight, including five in the UFC (four knockouts and one submission).

The latest UFC 215 lineup includes:

    • Champ Demetrious Johnson vs. Ray Borg – for flyweight title
    • Champ Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko – for women’s bantamweight title
    • Junior Dos Santos vs. Francis Ngannou
    • Gilbert Melendez vs. Jeremy Stephens
    • Rafael dos Anjos vs. Neil Magny
    • Sara McMann vs. Ketlen Vieira
    • Ilir Latifi vs. Tyson Pedro
    • Henry Cejudo vs. Wilson Reis
    • Rick Glenn vs. Gavin Tucker
    • Arjan Bhullar vs. Luis Henrique
    • Ashlee Evans-Smith vs. Sarah Moras
    • Kajan Johnson vs. Adriano Martins
    • Mitch Clarke vs. Alex White

For more on UFC 215, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Here's the official poster for UFC 215, featuring 2 title fights and heavyweight hitters

After a light August schedule, the UFC makes its return to pay-per-view next month with UFC 215.

The event, which takes place Sept. 9 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, features a pay-per-view main card following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson (26-2-1 MMA, 14-1-1 UFC) attempts to make a record-breaking 11th consecutive title defense when he takes on Ray Borg (11-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) in the main event. In the co-headliner, women’s bantamweight titleholder Amanda Nunes (14-4 MMA, 7-1 UFC) rematches Valentina Shevchenko (14-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) in a bout pushed back from July.

Check out the official event poster below:

The complete UFC 215 lineup includes:

  • Champ Demetrious Johnson vs. Ray Borg – for flyweight title
  • Champ Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko – for women’s bantamweight title
  • Junior Dos Santos vs. Francis Ngannou
  • Gilbert Melendez vs. Jeremy Stephens
  • Henry Cejudo vs. Wilson Reis
  • Ilir Latifi vs. Tyson Pedro
  • Sara McMann vs. Ketlen Vieira
  • Rick Glenn vs. Gavin Tucker
  • Ashlee Evans-Smith vs. Sarah Moras
  • Arjan Bhullar vs. Luis Henrique
  • Kajan Johnson vs. Adriano Martins

For more on UFC 215, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC 215: Demetrious Johnson-Ray Borg, Amanda Nunes-Valentina Shevchenko title fights headline

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UFC 215 will feature two title fights, with Demetrious Johnson being granted his wish and a recently canceled rematch rebooked.

The UFC announced today that Johnson (26-2-1 MMA, 14-1-1 UFC) will defend his flyweight title against Ray Borg (11-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) in the night’s main event, while a women’s bantamweight title fight between champ Amanda Nunes (14-4 MMA, 7-1 UFC) and Valentina Shevchenko  (14-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) will serve as the co-headliner.

UFC 215 takes place Sept. 9 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass, though the bout order hasn’t been finalized.

Both championship fights will happen after some drama with each.

In the case of Johnson-Borg, the UFC’s original hope was to have Johnson defend his title against T.J. Dillashaw as “Mighty Mouse” aims to break Anderson Silva’s record for most consecutive title defenses. But Johnson pushed back, which stirred up a weeks-long feud between he and UFC President Dana White. Johnson insisted Dillashaw didn’t deserve to jump the line for a title shot in a new division after his bantamweight title fight with Cody Garbrandt was scrapped.

With that now behind them, the pound-for-pound king will defend his title against Borg, who is ranked No. 5 in the current USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA flyweight rankings. Borg has won five of his last six fights, including recent back-to-back decisions over Louis Smolka and Jussier Formiga. Two of Borg’s last four fights have come at a catchweight after he failed to make the 126-pound limit.

For Nunes-Shevchenko, the booking is a second attempt to make the rematch. Their scheduled UFC 213 main-event bout earlier this month was canceled hours before it was set to happen when Nunes withdrew over illness, despite being medically cleared. Nunes would later reveal that complications from “chronic sinusitis” weakened her to the point she couldn’t compete.

It was an unfortunate development after the two got heated in the build-up during the summer kickoff event in May. Nunes and Shevchenko fought last year, with Nunes winning a three-round decision.

With the addition, the latest UFC 215 lineup includes:

  • Demetrious Johnson vs. Ray Borg – for flyweight title
  • Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko – for women’s bantamweight title
  • Francis Ngannou vs. Junior Dos Santos
  • Ilir Latifi vs. Tyson Pedro
  • Henry Cejudo vs. Wilson Reis
  • Rick Glenn vs. Gavin Tucker
  • Ashlee Evans-Smith vs. Sarah Moras
  • Arjan Bhullar vs. Luis Henrique
  • Gilbert Melendez vs. Jeremy Stephens

For more on UFC 215, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

T.J. Dillashaw refocused on Cody Garbrandt, stunned Demetrious Johnson chose Ray Borg

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Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

LAS VEGAS – Former UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw has abandoned plans to fight flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson and is refocused on getting his title back at 135 pounds.

The question Dillashaw (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) is facing now is how long he’ll have to wait for bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt (11-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC), who was forced out of their grudge match at UFC 213 with a back injury.

“I’m willing to wait for him,” Dillashaw said. “I can’t wait forever. I’ve got to sit down and have a more serious conversation. I just heard in an interview that Cody wouldn’t fight until November or December, and I was hoping October.”

Dillashaw most recently dispatched John Lineker at UFC 207 this past December, bringing his current win streak to two after the loss of his belt to Dominick Cruz, who was subsequently beaten by Garbrandt.

Dillashaw said the UFC offered Johnson more money “than he’s ever seen” to fight him instead of Ray Borg, but Johnson (26-2-1 MMA, 14-1-1 UFC), citing a lack of respect and willingness to meet additional financial demands, refused to accept.

Asked whether he could understand Johnson’s hesitancy given that he was once passed over for a title shot in favor of Garbrandt, Dillashaw said his empathy only goes so far.

“The fact is, he’s fighting Ray Borg,” Dillashaw said. “Me getting leaped over is a way bigger leap-over than me leaping over Ray Borg to fight Demetrious Johnson. Cody was ranked No. 8, and I was beating No. 1 contenders. Ray Borg has missed weight half his UFC career and has beaten, what, two guys – are they in the top 10? I don’t know what his credentials are to get that title fight. I feel like mine were a lot higher.

“Even though I haven’t fought in the weight class, I feel like it was a perfect time for me to jump in the weight class. It wasn’t like I was cutting the line. Demetrious has ran through everyone.”

Dillashaw doesn’t rule out the possibility of dropping weight to vie for the flyweight belt if he’s successful against Garbrandt. But right now, he’s more concerned about getting Garbrandt to sign on the dotted line.

A conversation with UFC President Dana White is something the ex-champ hopes will clear the air.

Watch the interview above to get Dillashaw’s thoughts on his ill-fated drop to flyweight, a new dialogue with his estranged teammate from Team Alpha Male following “The Ultimate Fighter 25,” and more.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Dana White: If Demetrious Johnson wants Ray Borg, he can have him – but don't complain

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LAS VEGAS – Dana White has no problem admitting he’s not exactly thrilled with flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson, but the UFC boss said he’s going to give “Mighty Mouse” exactly what he wants: Ray Borg.

“You want Ray Borg, we’ll give you Ray Borg,” White told MMAjunkie. “I’m sure the fans will be clamoring, and ticket sales will be through the roof and pay-per-views will be off the charts.”

Johnson is currently ranked No. 1 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA rankings at both flyweight and pound-for-pound. Borg checks in at No. 5 – which makes him a viable contender considering Johnson holds previous wins over No. 2 Joseph Benavidez and No. 3 Henry Cejudo, and that No. 4 Kyoji Horiguchi is now fighting in Japan.

But White’s frustration stems from a recent challenge by former bantamweight world champion T.J. Dillashaw, who expressed interesting in moving down a division to face Johnson, who is gunning for his 11th consecutive title defense, which would be a company record. Thus far, the champion has refused, visibly frustrating White.

“I’m not thrilled with Demetrious Johnson,” White said. “You’re the pound-for-pound best in the world, T.J. Dillashaw challenges you – one of the best in the world, former world champion – and you flat out deny the fight, flat out say, ‘I won’t do it. I want Ray Borg.’

“Who wouldn’t want to see Demetrious Johnson vs. T.J. Dillashaw? Dillashaw calling me every day: ‘I’m cutting weight. I’m cutting weight. I’m dieting. I’m training. I’m cutting weight. Do I got the fight? Do I got the fight?’ Ask T.J. Dillashaw next time you see him or you interview him. Calling me every day, chomping at the bit for the fight. You expect the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world to go, ‘Let’s do it.’”

Johnson has been uncharacteristically outspoken with his complaints, penning a statement earlier this month in which he said he “decided to speak out now as I feel like my values and character as a person and a fighter are being tarnished by an organization I’ve done nothing but sweat and bleed for over the last 7 years of my life.”

White said he took umbrage with much of what was in the statement, including claims the he was looking to shutter the entire flyweight division, and that the promotion has failed to effectively market Johnson.

“What I said to him was, ‘A couple of years ago, we were actually talking about getting rid of the division,’” White said, pointing to a conversation he had with Johnson during a Snoop Dogg concert at the UFC Athlete Retreat 2017. “There was never a threat to him, ‘Oh, we’re going to get rid of the division. That was complete bull(expletive), and 90 percent of what he came out and said was complete bull(expletive). Never did I say to him, ‘Hey, if you don’t do this, we’re going to get rid of your division.’ What I said to him was, ‘A couple of years ago, we were talking.’

“I built an ‘Ultimate Fighter’ around you to try and build you. He said he hasn’t been promoted. Who has defended that weight division more than me? I mean, I used to stand up in front of (the media) at the press conference going, ‘This kid is amazing. He’s unbelievable. He’s this. He’s that,’ which he is. I’m not saying he’s not. But we’re in a spot now where you had the opportunity to really get out there. T.J. Dillashaw called you out. He’s one of the best in the world, and he’s a former world champion. Many people thought he won the fight against (Dominick) Cruz. And you flat out say, ‘I don’t want to fight this guy. I want this guy, I want to fight the No. 5 or No. 6 guy instead.”

White said he believes Johnson’s marketability would have taken a big step forward had he beaten Dillashaw and points to lightweight champ Conor McGregor recently requesting a bout with Khabib Nurmagomdov – a man many believe to be a stylistic nightmare for “The Notorious” – and in Russia, no less, as the ideal attitude for an athlete hoping to gain greater notoriety.

“When I talk about the Conor McGregor thing, there’s the complete (expletive) opposite of Conor McGregor,” White said. “‘I want to roll into Russia and fight Khabib – the guy that if you ask most fans and media, they say, ‘Keep him away from (expletive) Khabib.’ You know what I mean? No, I want Khabib, and I want him in Russia in his home country. The complete opposite.”

And so, White says Johnson’s next fight will, indeed, come against Borg. An exact date has yet to be revealed, but White admits he’s not exactly optimistic about how the card will perform – and he hopes Johnson is aware of the reality.

“You’re on the cusp of breaking the record and doing all this stuff, … and you’re talking about superfights and you want $2 million and all this other stuff,” White said. “So I’m not thrilled about it, but guess what? You want Ray Borg, we’ll give you Ray Borg. I don’t want to hear any (expletive) if it’s not the blockbuster event you expect it to be.”

For more on the UFC’s schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Title shot? Sure, but Ben Nguyen also happy to welcome T.J. Dillashaw to flyweight

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A quick win over a former title challenger has opened up an array of possibilities for Ben Nguyen, but in the complicated flyweight division, it’s hard to pinpoint what’s next.

Nguyen walked into his recent UFC Fight Night 110 flyweight bout with “The Ultimate Fighter 24” winner Tim Elliott an underdog, but he walked away with a 49-second submission win and a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus. Life, Nguyen will understandably tell you, is good.

But as bright as Nguyen’s octagon future looks, it’s also up in the air. With flyweight kingpin Demetrious Johnson currently engaged in a public battle with the UFC, the next challenger undefined, and the division’s existence possibly endangered, he has a few scenarios ahead of him.

First, of course, is the ideal one: becoming the 125-pound division’s next title challenger.

“I’ve been doing some reading online, and a lot of people have been speculating and talking,” Nguyen told MMAjunkie Radio. “And people are saying, ‘Ben defeated Tim Elliott, the guy who went the distance with the champ and gave him a pretty tough time. So maybe Ben should have the next shot.’ Especially with all this stupid drama going on with (T.J. Dillashaw) coming down to flyweight, and (UFC President Dana White) threatening to shut down the division.

“Maybe they should just have me jump in. I’ve got the momentum. I’ve got the style. I’ve just beat one of the top guys. So, maybe I’m not too far off. If it was offered to me, obviously I’d have to take it. It makes me really excited, like I could be fighting the champ next.”

While we’ve seen stranger things happen, a title shot doesn’t seem like the most realistic scenario for Nguyen (17-6 MMA, 4-1 UFC), currently ranked No. 5 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA flyweight rankings. After all, two other possible challengers have been in the forefront of the public dispute all along.

First, there’s No. 5 ranked flyweight Ray Borg (11-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC), whom the champ had accepted to face before things escalated. And then there’s ex-135-pound champ Dillashaw (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) – whom the promotion has been pushing to get a shot at Johnson (26-2-1 MMA, 14-1-1 UFC) in what would be the ex-bantamweight titleholder’s first 125-pound outing.

If it helps clear out the situation, Nguyen would also be happy to meet either of the two in a title-eliminator scenario. Especially considering that he agrees with both Borg and Johnson that Dillashaw must first prove he can actually perform as a flyweight before getting a chance to rule the entire division.

“That’s an option as well, fighting Borg,” Nguyen said. “Fighting T.J., I just think that would be a fun fight. I think T.J. should have a fight with someone else in the flyweight division if he wants to actually fight for the belt – just to see if he can make the weight, if he can even perform at a lower weight class. That way the belt isn’t tied up with someone who might not be able to defend it later on.”

And last but not least, there’s the one who got away: perennial contender Joseph Benavidez. The two-time title challenger was actually slated to be Nguyen’s opponent for UFC Fight Night 110, but he had to pull out a month before the fight due to an injury.

“I still want to fight Joseph Benavidez,” Nguyen said. “I still want that fight so bad. But I know he’s going to be out until next year – I think he said early next year, he’ll be ready then.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 110, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Champ Demetrious Johnson took his UFC feud public, and here's how the flyweights responded

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Could the UFC flyweight division be disbanded just five years after it was introduced? Champion and pound-for-pound great Demetrious Johnson claims that’s been one of the threats made by the organization.

Johnson (26-2-1 MMA, 14-1-1 UFC), who’s largely been a company friendly fighter while reigning as the only 125-pound champion in history, revealed this week that his relationship with UFC brass has taken a sharp turn south in recent weeks after it was suggested his next title defense be against former bantamweight champ T.J. Dillashaw (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC).

Among other things, “Mighty Mouse” claims UFC President Dana White threatened to shut down the entire flyweight division if MMA’s top pound-for-pound fighter didn’t accept the fight with Dillashaw for UFC 215 in August. Johnson thought it was unfair for Dillashaw to receive an immediate title shot without having competed in the weight class, and he wanted financial assurances if his opponent missed weight.

Moreover, Johnson said No. 5-ranked flyweight Ray Borg (11-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) was most deserving of the next shot, and making that fight would keep the division in order as “Mighty Mouse” attempts to set the all-time UFC title defense record with his 11th in his next fight.

The reactions to Johnson’s stance have varied, but for the most part, his fellow fighters – and specifically fellow flyweights – have stood behind the champion’s stance. Henry Cejudo, Ben Nguyen, Tim Elliott, Zach Makovsky and Jarred Brooks also weighed in.

Here they are:

What happens next remains to be seen. Johnson has aired his grievances in a very public way, but he said his relationship with the UFC is far from irreparable. He would be willing to fight Dillashaw or Borg, but first his conditions must be met, which Johnson doesn’t view that as an unreasonable request.

If Johnson is to be believed, the UFC is willing to ax a weight class with more than 25 active fighters because the champion won’t play ball. Johnson encouraged the company to follow through on that threat if it’s something truly even being considered.

Fighter unrest has been a common theme for the UFC in recent months. Johnson is just the latest example, but if his situation gets worse, the ramifications could be more extreme than any previous feud.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie