Sports Desk: It’s fight week for local MMA fighter Ray Borg

Local Sports

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Locally trained MMA fighter Ray Borg is set to fight Ricky Simon on Wednesday. Borg is riding a two-fight winning streak heading into this UFC Fight Night event in Jacksonville, Florida.

The COVID-19 pandemic has definitely made things hard for UFC Fighters, like not knowing when they are going to fight, and when or where they are going to fight, but Ray Borg has remained ready. He is used to the unknown, as he has had seven fights fall through since 2017.

“That’s one thing that people don’t understand in this sport is that the UFC and MMA, in general, is the most unpredictable sport. You know, it’s kind of one of those things that you kind of try to prepare for and I try to tell younger fighters coming up to prepare yourself for, hey you know fights are going to fall through. So, its always been something that I guess you could say that I am prepared for,” said Borg.

Borg will fight Ricky Simon, who is on a two-fight losing skid, at 135 pounds Bantamweight. Borg has gone up and down from Bantamweight to Flyweight, but he hopes that he can once again compete at 125 pounds in the future.

“There are perks about being at 135, you know obviously the weight cut. You know, I don’t cut nearly as much weight as I would at 125, but ultimately I feel the most comfortable at 125. So, I have missed weight a few times in the past at 125, and its kind of a long shot but we have some ideas on how we can ask pretty much permission to go back down to 125,” said Borg.

UFC Fight Night: Smith vs Teixeira is Wednesday with main card bouts beginning at 7 p.m. on ESPN+.

Moving on to links, as golf courses just opened up across the state of New Mexico, and across the board, it seems like things are getting more back to normal when it comes to golf. Local pro, Sean Carlon is now gearing up to play in the Scottsdale Open in Arizona, which is the first big professional tournament to be played in the southwest since the pandemic.

Carlon just wrapped up his practice round on Monday and will compete from Tuesday to Thursday with the winning prize being $20,000. Carlon made the decision to move down to Phoenix prior to this event, to get his career back in motion.

“I just, its like hard practicing in a net. I mean, it’s just so different and I knew that Phoenix was so close. I have places to stay with friends here, so I made the decision to come over about three weeks ago, play in a couple of tune-up events and then get ready for this one and then make my way back over to Albuquerque once everything kind of settles in,” said Carlon.

Carlon has had a whirlwind first year as a pro, as he has battled adversity, growing pains, and this pandemic. “You are coming out of college, after a good year and you are expecting like, oh I am going to take this by storm you know, and you are very wrong. It takes a little bit because you are traveling more, playing for money and it just makes a big difference. I was getting beat down pretty good early, so you just gradually start coming back up and you get hit with this, it’s just like, I mean what do you do. It’s just like a crazy wild ride right now and you don’t have any Q school [Qualifying School], so the earliest realistically that you can get on the PGA Tour now is 2023,” said Carlon.

Carlon may have had his hopes at the PGA Tour put on hold, but he is remaining positive. He had a career-best fourth-place finish this past year as a pro and he feels that stepping away from the game has made him mentally stronger.

“That time away from everything and kind of looking at everything from a different perspective. Starting to appreciate everything that you don’t have anymore, like being able to practice. Instead of looking at it as a drag almost, like oh I don’t want to go practice like when I got back out here, you have to pull me away from the course right now. You know, I think I’m mentally refreshed,” said Carlon.

Moving on to football, the University of New Mexico has been recruiting their tails off this offseason as they picked up another commitment to the 2021 class. Wide receiver Keyonta Lanier verbally committed to play at UNM on Monday, and he now marks the tenth commit to a very stacked 2021 class for UNM football.

Keyonta Lanier had multiple offers and even one from Arizona State. The Long Beach Poly product had a stellar junior season as the 6’1 wide receiver racked up almost 440 reception yards and seven touchdowns.

Finishing with football, New Mexico State announced on Monday that they will play Abilene Christian in 2024. The two teams will play on November 23, 2024, inside Aggie Memorial Stadium.

The Aggies 2024 schedule now includes games against Hawaii (Aug. 24), at Wyoming (Sept. 21), at Fresno State (Oct. 5), against Louisiana (Oct. 26) and at Texas A&M (Nov. 16). NMSU will also continue its rivalry with UTEP and UNM on dates later to be announced.

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