Albuquerque MMA fighter Ray Borg has left FIT-NHB for intown rival Jackson-Wink, the Journal has learned.
Tom Vaughn, Borg’s longtime coach at FIT, confirmed that the UFC flyweight had left but didn’t know his destination. “If someone leaves my gym I do not follow their actions or career,” Vaughn said via email.
Efforts by the Journal to reach Borg for comment were unsuccessful. But Saturday evening, Jackson-Wink spokesman Mark Aragon confirmed that Borg is now training there.
Borg joins other fighters who have left FIT-NHB for Jackson-Wink, a larger and more prestigious gym in the world of MMA: Carlos Condit, Coty “Ox” Wheeler and Donald Sanchez among them. Condit trained for a period of time in Arizona after leaving FIT-NHB and before coming to Jackson-Wink.
With Borg’s departure, FIT has only one UFC fighter: welterweight Tim Means (26-7).
“Not worried, we’ll make more,” Vaughn wrote. “No one has ever left our gym and done better.”
Borg (9-2) is scheduled to face Ian McCall (13-5-1) of Dana Point, Calif., Saturday on UFC 203 in Cleveland. In the main event, Cleveland’s Stipe Miocic will defend his UFC heavyweight title against Jackson-Wink’s Alistair Overeem.
ARLOVSKI SUBMITTED: UFC heavyweight Andrei Arlovski, who trains at Jackson-Wink, lost by third-round submission (rear naked choke) to Josh Barnett Saturday in the main event of a UFC Fight Night card in Hamburg, Germany.
Arlovski, a former UFC heavyweight champion, is 25-13 and has lost his last three fights. Barnett, also a former UFC champion, is 35-8.
THE DREAM CONTINUES: Albuquerque’s Diego “The Dream” Sanchez (26-9) is scheduled to return to the Octagon Nov. 5 on a Fight Night card in Mexico City against Poland’s Marcin Held (22-4).
THE OLD ONE-TWO: Once again, New Mexico boxing promoters Eric Martinez and Pat Holmes are staging cards in close proximity.
At least on this occasion, they’re not on the same night and not in the same county.
On Sept. 24, Martinez is promoting a show at the MCM Elegante Hotel in Albuquerque. Three nights later, Holmes, in collaboration with Premier Boxing Champions, has a nationally televised card at Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino in Pojoaque.
Last year, the two each promoted a show on May 9 — Holmes at Buffalo Thunder and Martinez at Camel Rock Casino, just 3½ miles down the road in Santa Fe County.
The New Mexico Athletic Commission has a policy against approving cards so close together in time, but the NMAC has no authority at Buffalo Thunder. The Pueblo of Pojoaque has its own commission.
In any case, the two September cards shouldn’t get in each other’s way.
On the 24th, Martinez’s Legacy Promotions will stage an Albuquerque-centric card with Duke City welterweight Josh Torres (15-5-2, seven knockouts) matched against Phoenix’s Jose Marrufo (9-5-2, no KOs) in an eight-round main event. Torres and Marrufo fought to an eight-round draw in August 2014.
Another intriguing bout on the Legacy card is a four-round junior middleweight match between Albuquerque’s Jose Luis Sanchez (5-1, two KOs) and Arturo Crespin (13-7-1, four KOs) of Las Vegas, N.M.
Crespin has lost four of his last five, but the lone victory in that stretch was an impressive upset of New Yorker Renan Ruiz (7-1-1 at the time) last December. In May in Colorado, Crespin lasted into the seventh round before being stopped by unbeaten (20-0, 14 KOs) Cuban prospect Inocente Fiz.
Sanchez will give up a ton of ring experience to Crespin, but “Güero” is not an untested fighter. His lone loss was to Torres by seventh-round TKO in March 2013.
On the Holmes/PBC card at Buffalo Thunder, unbeaten Florida welterweight Bryant Perrella (14-0, 13 KOs) will face Cuban Yordenis Ugas (16-3) in the scheduled 10-round main event.
The Perrella-Ugas fight and two others provided by PBC will be telecast on Fox Sports I. Holmes will populate the undercard primarily with New Mexico fighters, including his sons, junior lightweight Brandon (8-0, six KOs) and junior lightweight Patrick Jr. (6-1, three KOs).
No match other than Perrella-Ugas has been announced.
GRIEGO: Albuquerque super bantamweight Matthew Griego (6-0, six KOs) is scheduled to fight Saturday on a card in Hobbs. Griego said he does not have an opponent firmly in place.
On that card, super middleweight Gerardo Quintana (5-1-1, three KOs) is matched against fellow Hobbs fighter Oscar Espinosa at the Lea County Events Center.