Underdog Ray Borg CAN stop Demetrious Johnson from breaking the record for the most successive UFC title defences on Saturday night, but not in the way you’d usually expect. And probably not via an outcome you can actually bet on.
Borg is a 15/2 (Ladbrokes) chance to beat "Mighty Mouse" in the main event of UFC 215 in Edmonton this weekend, but you’ll have to search long and hard to find someone who genuinely believes he’ll dethrone the champion.
But there is another way he can stop Johnson from capturing the record on Saturday, and there’s a much more likely chance of it happening, too.
He can miss weight.
Borg may be one of the best flyweights in the UFC, but he’s lost to the scale twice in his last four bouts, failing to make the non-title limit of 126lbs for his fights against Geane Herrera and Louis Smolka.
This Friday he’ll have to go one pound lower in order to make the official championship weight of 125lbs. Given his recent form on the scale, there has to be a concern he might not make it.
If Borg fails to make weight, the bout will become a non-title fight and, assuming Johnson agrees to continue with the contest, a win for "Mighty Mouse" won’t count as a title defense. He’d have to win one more bout further down the line.
It’s something that actually happened to the current joint record holder Anderson Silva, whose run as UFC middleweight champion was interrupted – but not broken – by one opponent failing to make weight (Travis Lutter) and three non-title fights contested at light-heavyweight (vs James Irvin, Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar).
It means only failure to win on Saturday night against an on-weight Ray Borg can kill Johnson’s hopes of becoming the outright record holder for successive UFC title defences.
As for the fight itself, I just can’t back against Demetrious Johnson. Borg is as tough as they come at 125lbs, has only lost twice and has never been stopped, so backing Johnson to win the fight on the scorecards at EVENS (Betfair, BetVictor, Paddy Power) looks a solid wager, especially given the unbackably short odds on Johnson winning outright.
PICK: JOHNSON BY DECISION
[Photo Credit: © Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports]