While Demetrious Johnson may be on the verge of setting the new record for UFC title defenses, he will not be able to do so this Saturday.
Ray Borg, Johnson’s UFC 215 opponent, was forced to withdraw from the fight on Thursday evening after falling ill and being deemed unfit to compete by UFC doctors. According to multiple sources, Borg has been battling an illness this week though his camp has been adamant that this his being sick is unrelated to his weight cut.
“It wasn’t weight related,” Borg’s nutritionist Dr. Michelle Ingels of Perfecting Athletes told MMA Fighting. “Ray has been getting progressively more sick each day this week and still wanted to fight so badly that he put on a game face and went to all of his fight week obligations. However, prior to beginning the bulk of his weight cut the UFC doctor examined Borg and concluded that he was too ill to fight this week and needed time to rest and get better.”
The current plan is to re-book the flyweight title fight as soon as possible, but nothing has been finalized at this time.
In April, Johnson successfully defended the flyweight title for the 10th time, which tied Anderson Silva’s record. Coincidentally, the UFC wanted to book Johnson vs. TJ Dillashaw for the potential record-breaking 11th defense, but Johnson campaigned for Borg, an actual Flyweight contender, to be his next opponent.
As a result, the Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko women’s Bantamweight title fight will serve as the new pay-per-view main event in Edmonton.
In another strange twist, the Nunes-Shevchenko title fight was canceled just hours before UFC 213 in July due to a Nunes sinus issue, prompting UFC president Dana White to vow that he wouldn’t put Nunes in the headlining act in her next fight.
UFC 215 will currently proceed with 11 fights.
The UFC released a statement regarding the cancellation and offered refunds later Thursday. The flyweight bout between Henry Cejudo and Wilson Reis will move up to the main card. The full statement is below:
Due to a viral illness to UFC flyweight contender Ray Borg, the main event bout against champion Demetrious Johnson at UFC 215 has been cancelled. Borg was deemed unfit to compete by the UFC medical team.
UFC 215, which is now headlined by the women’s bantamweight championship between Amanda Nunes and Valentina Shevchenko, will proceed as scheduled with 11 bouts at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Canada. Moving to the Pay-Per-View main card will be the flyweight bout between Henry Cejudo and Wilson Reis. Additionally, the Mitch Clarke and Alex White lightweight contest will now kick off the FS1 prelims.
With the removal of Johnson vs. Borg, customers may request a full refund of purchased tickets at point of sale.