Anthony Borg, Albuquerque MMA fighter Ray Borg’s infant son, has been in a Denver hospital since April 24. The child has undergone two surgeries after being diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid within the brain.
Anthony, his father has tweeted, is recovering well. But to defray the resultant medical expenses, two GoFundMe pages have been created, producing a total of $25,725 as of Thursday evening.
That impressive total, though, likely does not come close to covering the cost of 23 days of medical tests, surgeries, etc., and 23 days (and counting) of hospitalization. Meanwhile, Borg and his wife, Amanda, have been in Denver the entire time.
Borg has been a UFC contract fighter since 2014. According to figures released by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, he was paid $100,000 for his loss to champion Demetrious Johnson in a UFC flyweight title fight on Oct. 7.
The UFC offers its fighters accident and injury insurance but not health insurance per se and nothing that would apply to Anthony Borg’s hospitalization and treatment. Fighters compete under contract and are not UFC employees.
It is not known if the Borgs have health insurance of their own.
Borg has not fought since October of last year, when he lost a UFC flyweight title fight to champion Johnson. He was scheduled to fight Mexico’s Brandon Moreno on April 7, but the Albuquerquean took glass fragments in his left eye when UFC star Conor McGregor, in a fit of rage, threw a handcart through a shuttle-bus window. Borg was ruled medically unfit to compete.
UFC Dana White announced that Borg, Moreno and other fighters removed from the April 7 card as a result of McGregor’s actions would be paid their “show money” for the canceled fights. But Borg-Moreno was quickly rescheduled for Saturday’s UFC Fight Night card in Santiago, Chile, and it’s unclear whether he already had been paid.
Then, Borg, focused on his son’s illness and unable to train, had to withdraw from Saturday’s event.
His purse for the Moreno fight was believed to be about $22,000.
An inquiry to the UFC by the Journal as to whether Borg has been paid his show money for the Moreno fight, and whether there’s anything beyond a fight purse that the organization can provide, has gone unanswered.
RESPONSE FROM FIT-NHB: Timing isn’t everything, and perception isn’t reality. But timing and perception are, nevertheless, powerful things.
In February, Albuquerque’s Tom Vaughn, co-owner with his wife, Arlene Sanchez-Vaughn of Albuqurque’s FIT-NHB martial arts gym, filed a lawsuit against Ray Borg —claiming Borg, a former FIT-NHB fighter, broke a legally binding contract when he moved to Albuquerque’s Jackson-Wink MMA.
The lawsuit, submitted on behalf of the Vaughns’ company, Wildbunch Management LLC, was filed in New Mexico State District Court on Feb. 2. On May 3, the website mmajunkie published a story on the suit. On May 6, the Journal published a story online.
Tom Vaughn said he was concerned about the timing of the stories, published while Borg’s son was hospitalized in Denver, and the perception it might have created.
For that reason, Vaughn said in a statement submitted to the Journal on Wednesday, he had instructed his attorney to decline comment to
“Mma junkie elected to go ahead and run an article, knowing fully well we were trying to spare Ray the grief,” Vaughn wrote. “… We wish the Borgs’ son a full and speedy recovery.”
Amanda Borg also is a former FIT-NHB fighter.
Anthony Borg was born on March 27, almost two months after the Vaughns’ lawsuit was filed.
RE-UPPED: Albuquerque MMA bantamweight John Dodson (20-9) has signed a new four-fight deal with the UFC, as first reported by mmafighting.com.
Dodson, who trains at Jackson-Wink, has been a UFC fighter since 2011.
UPCOMING: Roswell MMA featherweight Andrés Quintana (13-2), who trains in Albuquerque at Luttrell-Yee, is scheduled to face Mexico’s Marco Antonio Elpidio (6-2-1) in the main event of a Combate Americas card tonight in Tijuana, Mexico.
The main card is scheduled to start at 10 p.m. and to be telecast on Univision Deportes (DirecTV channel 464, Dish 869).