Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) flyweight No. 1 contender, Ray Borg, announced his retirement from mixed martial arts (MMA) after getting released from the promotion back in August in the wake of yet another missed fight.
Then came the phone calls.
“I had intentions on retiring,” Borg told Sherdog.com. “I really did. But I started getting messages from people, and the ones that really hit me hard were messages from kids I used to coach and train. Young kids who come from troubled beginnings. And I always told them to work hard and they can get themselves out of the gutter. And I had some kids message me saying, ‘Hey coach, you can’t retire. You taught me to be tougher than that. It’s too soon for you, you’re only 27.’”
Borg compiled a 7-5 record inside the Octagon across the flyweight and bantamweight divisions, but “The Tazmexican Devil” considers himself to be a true 125-pounder and expects to compete in his natural weight class when he eventually returns to combat sports.
Which is likely to get him out of the doghouse.
“I talked to me wife, and to be honest, my wife didn’t know I decided I was going to retire,” Borg continued. “So she comes at me [and asks], ‘What are you doing? Why are you retiring?’ I was like, I have to. I’ve got to pay the bills for you guys. And she’s like, ‘Nah, you can’t.’ And she let me know I owe it to my son. I can’t have my son look at me in 10 years and ask me, ‘Dad, why did you quit?’”
Following his split-decision loss to Ricky Simon at UFC Fight Night 171 back in May, Borg (13-5) was promptly rebooked to throw down against Nate Maness at UFC Vegas 5 — only to pull out the day of the weigh ins.
Borg was given plenty of leeway to deal with his son’s unfortunate medical condition, which at one point required brain surgery, but at the end of the day UFC is a business and has to keep the assembly line moving.
Goodbye UFC ... hello ONE Championship?