By all appearances, Ray Borg has been forced to withdraw from his UFC Apex 1: Eye vs. Calvillo bout against Merab Dvalishvili due to a family emergency. MMA has Junkie reported that the former flyweight title challenger has been taken off the card due to “personal reasons.”
Shortly before the news broke, Borg sent a brief message out on Twitter that read, “Family first, see you soon son.”
Anthony Borg was born with a rare condition called hydrocephalus. The brain disease has required multiple surgeries and resulted in Borg spending significant amounts of time away from his fighting career in the past. In a 2019 interview with ESPN, Borg spoke about his son’s condition and the internal struggles he’s had over weather or not to continue his pro fighting career.
“This sport has been so up and down for me, and it just started to hit me that maybe a 9-to-5 would be less stressful on my family,” Borg said, “Everything almost drove me away from fighting — but my son wouldn’t allow it. If he was going to keep fighting, there was no way I wasn’t going to.”
Hopefully the ‘Tazmexican Devil’ will be able to take care of his family and return to the cage again soon.
For Merab Dvalishvili, who he’ll face Saturday remains somewhat uncertain. In the same article noting Borg’s withdrawal from this weekend’s UFC event, MMA Junkie reported that Combate Americas champion Gustavo Lopez (11-4) had signed on to take the extremely short notice bout. The 30-year-old Xtreme Couture fighter is 3-1 in the Combate promotion, having dropped a split decision to Jose Alday in his debut—a loss he’s since avenged.
Unfortunately for Lopez, as soon as the news came out, Combate Americas president Campbell McLaren cast a major cloud of doubt over whether or not the fight could actually get made.
FanSided’s Amy Kaplan provided an update on the situation after speaking to McLaren, confirming that the Combate Americas champ is indeed still under contract with the promotion, and that “they were not given their right to match,” his UFC contract offer.
Lopez’s manager, Daniel Rubenstein took to Twitter in the aftermath to put the blame squarely on his own shoulders for taking the UFC offer before requesting Lopez’s release.
As a manager, I have made a mistake and @combateamericas does indeed have matching right to @Gustavo11Lopez and I have officially requested his release for him to fight this weekend in the UFC in Las Vegas. @campbellcombate— Daniel Rubenstein (@dannyrube) June 11, 2020
Hopefully all sides can come together and get this sorted in both Lopez and Dvalishvili’s best interest. If it can’t be sorted fast, it seems likely that the UFC will just end up dropping Dvalishvili’s fight from the card altogether. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for more news and updates.