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Last April, after failing to make the contracted weight for his fight against Casey Kenney, Albuquerque MMA fighter Ray Borg vowed to walk away from the sport if he ever missed weight again.
He missed weight again.
He’s not walking away.
Friday, Borg weighed in at 128 pounds, two pounds over the allowable limit for his flyweight fight on Saturday against Brazil’s Rogerio Bonterin on UFC Rio Rancho at the Santa Ana Star Center.
Bonterin weighed in at 126 pounds, a permissible one pound over. The fight will go on, with Borg forced to put 30% of his contracted pay in Bonterin’s pocket.
On his Instagram account, Borg apologized for failing to make weight.
“I wish I had an excuse, but I don’t,” he wrote. “… The more (weight) we started cutting the less that started to come off.”
Fighters were required to weigh in sometime between 9 and 11 a.m. Borg waited until just before 11. After stepping into a hoop designed for privacy, he stripped off his underwear and weighed in at 128.
Given an hour during which to shed the excess two pounds, Borg returned to the scale at noon — and, despite having worked up a sweat in the attempt, again weighed 128.
It remains to be seen whether his future fights will be contested at 125 or 135.
On Instagram, Borg acknowledged he had once pledged to retire if he again missed weight. But that, he said, “is a subject that currently is not on my mind …”
Borg remains eligible for a win bonus, as per contract, but not for a performance bonus.
THE FIGHTING DE LA ROSAS: Mark and Montana De La Rosa on Saturday will become the first husband-and-wife duo to appear on the same UFC card.
The De La Rosas live and train in Fort Worth, Texas.
Mark (11-3) is scheduled to face Brazil’s Raulian Paiva (18-3) on the first fight of the card, scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. Montana (10-5) is matched against Italy’s Mara Romero Borella (12-6) on the third-to-the-last fight of the night.
The De La Rosas requested that their fights be far apart in time so that Mark can work Montana’s corner.
The best thing about being on the same card, they said, is that they were able to train together toward the same goal.
The worst part, they said, is HAVING to do so.
“I guess the benefit would be having a body to train with all the time,” Montana said. “We’re on the same schedule. We’re going through the same things mentally and physically.”
The challenge, Mark said, is “just cutting weight together, being grumpy together. Usually whenever I’m cutting weight I enjoy taking her out and watching her eat fattening (food) and eating dessert. But (leading up to Saturday) we were both on strict diets and we were both kind of grumpy.”
Their daughter, Zaylyn Woods, 9, is a Texas state champion wrestler — competing mostly against boys.
THE WEIGH-IN: Borg was the only fighter unable to make weight, though several fighters — including Bonterin and Moriarty welterweight Tim Means — took full advantage of the two-hour window before stepping on the scale.
After the weigh-in, the 24 fighters engaged in the traditional pose-downs for the cameras. There were no incidents, though Albuquerque welterweight Diego Sanchez and opponent Michel Pereira had a spirited face-off — as did Means and his opponent, Daniel Rodriguez.
After weighing in at 171, as he’d predicted he would do on Thursday, Sanchez several times shouted, “De nada!” That’s Spanish for “you’re welcome,” but also could be translated here as “nothing to it.”
ADD BORG: Borg’s weight issue cannot and should not overshadow the good things that are happening in his life.
His son, Anthony, now almost 2, was born with hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid in the brain. Anthony has undergone multiple surgeries, creating deep concern for Borg and his wife, Amanda, and causing severe financial hardships.
Anthony, Borg said on Thursday, is doing remarkably well.
“With Anthony’s condition, the way he’s progressing, we definitely feel very, very, very happy,” Borg said. “He’s about to be two years old, and with his condition, sometimes kids are barely sitting up on their own at two-and-a-half. If anybody’s seen him (during) fight week, he’s been running around these halls (at the Marriott Pyramid North, fight headquarters) and trying to get into everything. He’s kind of blowing everybody’s expectations out of the water.”
Borg is fighting in Albuquerque for the first time since 2014, which, he said, is a blessing regarding Anthony.
“Of course his condition is always scary, just because it’s a lifelong condition. That’s actually the beauty being here at home. … When I’ve gone away the last couple of fights, I’ve always had that anxiety in the back of my head because with his condition, in a split second he can have a malfunction.
“God forbid anything like that ever happens, but at least (this week) I have that comfortability, knowing that if it did happen, I’m at home and can be with him and still be able to fight.”