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MMA: Borg-Benavidez is official

New Mexico’s classic athletic rivalry, Albuquerque vs. Las Cruces, will be in play in Denver on Nov. 10.

That night at the Pepsi Center, Albuquerque MMA flyweight Ray Borg is scheduled to face Las Cruces High School graduate Joseph Benavidez on a UFC Fight Night Card.

The UFC has confirmed the matchup, previously reported by multiple sources online.

Borg (11-3) trains in Albuquerque at Jackson-Wink MMA. Benavidez (25-5), a 2002 LCHS graduate, lives in Sacramento, Calif. and trains at Team Alpha Male.

The Borg-Benavidez matchup was originally targeted for UFC 229 in Las Vegas, Nev., according to multiple reports. The main event that night is the long-awaited showdown between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov.

McGregor is subject to a protective order that forbids him from coming near Borg, who took glass shards to the eye when an angry McGregor shoved a dolly through a shuttle-bus window before an April UFC event in New York City.

Borg, who was scheduled to fight on that card, did not and has not fought since — first because of the eye injury, then because of the illness of his infant son, Anthony.

Anthony is doing well, Borg has posted on Twitter.

ESPN MMA reporter Brett Okamoto, however, wrote that he was told by a UFC source that the move of Borg-Benavidez to the Denver show was not motivated by McGregor’s presence on UFC 229.

Borg has posted on Twitter that he had nothing to do with the issue of the protective order.

Also on the Denver card, welterweight Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (38-11), Borg’s Jackson-Wink teammate, is scheduled to face Mike Perry (12-3).

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