Ray Borg marked a successful return to competition with the unanimous decision win over Jesse Arnett at UAE Warriors 20. The American was singled out as a big talent early on in his career, signing with the UFC at the age of 20
He went 7-5 inside the octagon with one of those losses coming in a world title fight against Demetrious Johnson. After missing weight several times, he was cut from the UFC and briefly retired in 2020.
Following more than a year out of competition, the main event in Abu Dhabi marked the start of a new chapter for ‘the Tazmexican devil’ and he showed he’s still got what it takes against a very game Arnett.
The Canadian, who stands three inches taller, looked to work the jab early in this bantamweight bout while staying on the outside. Borg moved in for the takedown and scored the double leg against the fence.
Arnett had a brief d’arce attempt before they returned to the centre of the cage. Both fighters tagged each other with clean shots, first Arnett with the jab, then Borg with the right hook.
The former UFC man then let fly with some leg kicks before catching Arnett with a beautiful counter right hand. Several scrambles ensued as Borg shot for a single leg with the Canadian immediately looking for guillotines.
Borg would prove elusive and showcased some wily escapes. The man from New Mexico then showed good top pressure and ended the round with a solid knee on the break.
Borg smashed Arnett with a body kick early in the second round and began to push the pace, landing a head kick. The Canadian responded by taking Borg’s back and dragging him to the canvas.
The southpaw fired off a left cross as they found the centre of the cage against, and began to increase his striking output. Borg defended a double leg attempt before securing his own takedown.
Working form half guard Borg let go with some solid elbows and punches. For a moment Arnett looked like he had a rear naked choke locked in in the third round but again, the UFC veteran was alert to the danger and scrambled his way out of it.
Borg would go on to spend the bulk of the round controlling Arnett from the top and uncorking with some ground and pound. The spate of elbows and punches left the 36 year old dripping blood.
All three judges scored the bout 30-21 in favour of Borg. It was an engaging affair that served as a stark reminder of the American’s abilities and he climbs to 14-5 while his opponent drops to 18-7.
Best of the rest
Martun Mezhlumyan looks to heave earned himself a shot at the lightweight title after scoring the unanimous decision against Germany’s Attila Korkmaz in the co-main event. The b out was billed as a title qualifier and it was the Armenian who came on top as his record extends to 12-2.
It wasn’t a good night for Korean welterweight prospect Sang Hoon Yoo (6-2). He was stopped by Bellator and PFL veteran Andre Fialho (12-4) after just 18 seconds.
UAE Warriors 20, Abu Dhabi, June 19th
Ray Borg def. Jesse Arnett via Decision (Unanimous)
Martun Mezhlumyan def. Attila Korkmaz via Decision (Unanimous)
Daniel Skibinski def. Acoidan Duque via TKO (Punches) at 0:43 of R3
Carolina Jimenez def. Lucrezia Ria via first round submission
Handesson Ferreira def. Amiran Gogoladze via Decision (Unanimous)
Gianni Melillo def. Mohammed Karaki via TKO (Punches) at 2:16 of R1
John Mitchell def. Arbi Emiev via TKO (Doctor’s stoppage) at 5:00 of R1
Andre Fialho def. Sang Hoon Yoo via TKO (Punches) at 0:18 of R1
Mirafzal Akhtamov def. Marcos Paulo Costa via Decision (Split)
Abu-Muslim Alikhanov def. Atabek Abdimitalipov via Decision (Unanimous)
Ali Alqaisi def. Furkatbek Yokubov via TKO (Punches) at 4:49 of R1
Zaakir Badat def. Ercin Sirin via Submission (Inverted triangle) at 2:20 of R1
Izzeddine Al Derbani def. Ozodbek Azimov via Submission (Triangle choke) at 4:50 or R1
Victor Nunes def. Azizbek Satibaldiev via TKO (Punches) at 3:40 of R3