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UFC 216 fight card primer: Demetrious Johnson vs. Ray Borg

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All you need to know about the UFC 216 co-main event, a flyweight championship fight between Demetrious Johnson and Ray Borg.

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The co-main event of UFC 216 in Las Vegas, Nevada is a flyweight championship matchup between the great Demetrious Johnson (26-2-1 MMA, 14-1-1 UFC) and Ray Borg (11-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC). Johnson is the #1 ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the world and the only flyweight champion the UFC has ever had. Borg is the #3 ranked contender in his division, sitting only behind Henry Cejudo and Joseph Benavidez. UFC 216: Ferguson vs. Lee airs live on Saturday, October 7th at 10 PM ET/7 PM PT, exclusively on pay-per-view. The FX preliminary card begins at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT, while the Fight Pass prelims start at approximately 6:30 PM ET/3:30 PM PT.

This fight was supposed to happen at UFC 215, but Borg withdrew after suffering from a fight week viral illness. There’s a lot on the line tonight, as a win for Johnson would give him eleven successful title defenses, surpassing Anderson Silva for the most title defense wins in UFC history. The upstart Borg is a heavy underdog against DJ, but can he spring a surprise and spoil the champion’s record-breaking quest? Here’s all you need to know about this fight.

How do these two stack up?

Johnson: 31 years old | 5’3" | 66” reach
Borg: 24 years old | 5’4” | 63” reach

What have these two done recently?

Johnson: W - Wilson Reis (SUB) | W - Tim Elliott (UD) | W - Henry Cejudo (TKO)
Borg: W - Jussier Formiga (UD) | W - Louis Smolka (UD) | L - Justin Scoggins (UD)

How did these two get here?

There aren’t enough superlatives in the world to describe Johnson’s reign atop the 125-pound division. He’s been the flyweight champion for five years, and apart from his first win over John Dodson in 2013, none of his title defenses have been particularly close. DJ’s last fight saw him destroy Wilson Reis on the feet before becoming the first man to submit the BJJ black belt in MMA competition. Often knocked for not being a finisher, Johnson has stopped four of his last six opponents. With history in his sights, I’m sure Johnson wants to make it five finishes out of seven.

Borg has been in the UFC since 2014, losing his debut to Dustin Ortiz by split decision. “The Tazmexican Devil” reeled off three straight victories before a disappointing defeat to Justin Scoggins. Borg looked sensational in his win over Louis Smolka, but did miss weight by several pounds. He was on weight for the biggest moment of his career thus far, a unanimous decision over decorated jiu-jitsu specialist Jussier Formiga. That win was enough to earn him a title shot against an MMA legend. While Borg has improved his striking considerably under the tutelage of Brandon Gibson, he’s still at his best when the fight is on the ground, so we could see some surprisingly competitive scrambles between him and Demetrious when they do battle.

Why should you care?

History is going to be made one way or another. Either Demetrious Johnson becomes the most successful champion the UFC has ever had, or Ray Borg pulls off one of the greatest upsets of all-time. So yeah, watch history be made on Saturday night!