Combat sports notes: Borg scheduled for long-awaited return - Albuquerque Journal

Combat sports notes: Borg scheduled for long-awaited return

Ray Borg, seen before his bout against Casey Kenney at UFC Fight Night, Saturday, March 30, 2019, is about to make his long-delayed return to competition. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)

Albuquerque MMA fighter Ray Borg, having fought just once in the past 18 months, is scheduled for a return to the cage on Jan. 28.

Borg (14-5) is matched against Cody Gibson (18-7) in a bantamweight fight on an Eagle FC card in Miami.

“Let’s Go!” Borg tweeted, appearing to confirm a report by mmajunkie.com. On Wednesday, Eagle FC made it official on Instagram.

Eagle FC is headed by retired UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. The Jan. 28 event is the 44th in the series but will be the first staged in North America.

Gibson and Borg are both former UFC fighters.

Borg, 28, challenged Demetrious Johnson for the UFC flyweight title in October 2017, losing by fifth-round submission (arm bar). He was released by the UFC in June 2020 after failing to make weight on several occasions.

Borg returned to the cage in June, defeating Jesse Arnett by unanimous decision on a UAE Warriors card in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. He was scheduled for another fight on an Oct. 29 UAE Warriors card but withdrew after being infected with COVID-19.

Gibson went 1-3 during his stint with the UFC, which ended in 2015. On Oct. 23, he defeated Albuquerque’s John Dodson by unanimous decision on an XMMA card in Miami.

Eagle FC 44 also will mark the return to the cage of former Jackson-Wink fighter Rashad Evans. The organization made the announcement on Monday. Evans, 42, has confirmed the news in interviews.

Evans (19-8-1) was one of Jackson-Wink’s foundation fighters before breaking with the Albuquerque gym after J-W coach and co-founder Greg Jackson agreed to a fight between Evans and J-W teammate Jon Jones – violating, in Evans’ mind, a teammates-don’t-fight-teammates policy.

After leaving Jackson-Wink to train at Blackzillians in Florida, Evans lost to Jones in April 2012 by unanimous decision in a UFC light-heavyweight title fight.

Evans retired in 2018 after losing five consecutive fights.

WATERSON, TOO: Albuquerque MMA fighter Michelle Waterson (18-9) is scheduled to be back in action on March 26, facing Brazil’s Amanda Ribas (11-2) in a strawweight fight.

The card will be staged at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, with light heavyweights Jan Blachowicz and Aleksandar Rakic in the main event.

It’s a crucial fight for Waterson, who has lost three of her last four. Still, because of her immense popularity and entertaining style, she likely would not be in jeopardy of a release by the UFC should she lose to Ribas.

JONES UPDATE: Jones, who’s facing domestic-violence charges in Las Vegas, Nevada, recently spent time training at former UFC champion Henry Cejudo’s Fight Ready gym in Phoenix. He mused on social media about the possibility of buying a house there.

Still, Jones continues to treat the Duke City as home. His C.A.R.E. Project is in the process of giving $500 each to 100 families from Albuquerque and the surrounding area.

Jones, 34, was arrested in Las Vegas on Sept. 24 after his fiancée was found to have dried blood on her face and blood on her clothes. Blood also was found by police on bed sheets in the couple’s hotel room.

Jones was charged with misdemeanor domestic violence and a felony charge of damaging a vehicle. Police said he head-butted a patrol car when apprehended on the Las Vegas Strip.

He has denied having struck his fiancée.

A court appearance, postponed several times, is now scheduled for Jan. 31.

Jones does not have a fight scheduled. Having given up his UFC light heavyweight title, he is planning to compete as a heavyweight.

SANCHEZ UPDATE: Sorry, there isn’t one.

As reported in the Journal on Nov. 28, Albuquerque MMA legend Diego Sanchez recently was hospitalized after contracting COVID-19. Until late last week, he’d been posting updates on his condition on social media – saying he’d had pneumonia and blood clots in his legs.

Since Dec. 2, however, there has been no further word from Sanchez and no reports from MMA websites on his condition.

The Journal was told, but has been unable to confirm, that Sanchez has been discharged from the hospital.

Sanchez posted on Instagram on Thursday, but the post did not include an update on his condition.

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