UFC Fight Night 44 Fight Breakdown: Ray Borg (-400) vs. Shane Howell (+325)

ray-borg One of the best prelims at UFC Fight Night 44 is a three-round flyweight bout between Ray “The Tazmexican Borg” and Shane Howell. The current betting line for the fight at Several Bookmakers lists Borg as a -400 favorite (bet $400 to win $100) while Howell is a +325 underdog (bet $100 to win $325). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas originally opened up Borg at -600 and Howell at +400, meaning the public is on the dog Howell here. I disagree with the action in Howell’s favor as I believe Borg will win this fight. Here’s why. Borg (6-1) is one of the top prospects in the UFC flyweight division. He had a terrific UFC debut against Dustin Ortiz, getting robbed of a decision victory by the judges against one of the best 125ers in the world. Only 20 years of age, Borg is an extremely slick ground fighter who loves to take his opponent’s back and submit them with his rear-naked choke (he has four career wins via RNC). He has decent wrestling as well that is constantly improving and he has some decent striking that is getting better all the time too. At such a young age and already with a UFC fight under his belt, Borg is a top prospect at 125 and the sky is the future for him. He was originally set to fight Ryan Benoit at UFC Fight Night 44 but at the last second his opponent pulled out and now he takes on Howell, who takes the fight on short notice. Howell (13-7) is a solid flyweight prospect who has won six-straight fights. However, the wins were all against nobodies and he hasn’t fought in over two years. The UFC called him up on short notice to fight Borg, and of course he accepted the bout to get his shot in the UFC. At 30 years of age, Howell is in the prime of his career but with the long layoff and the short notice there are huge question marks surrounding him and how he will perform this weekend is a huge mystery. If he shows up in top condition and at the best of his abilities, he certainly has a chance to win as he’s a seven solid flyweight who has seven career wins by submission as well as an additional four via knockout. He also has a great win over current top 10 flyweight Tim Elliott on his record from earlier in his career. In order to beat Borg, he will have to be slicker in every area of the game and limit his mistakes. But coming off of such a long layoff and having ring rust, it will be difficult for him to do so. It’s possible he surprises everyone and shocks the world, but the odds are he doesn’t fight to the best of his abilities considering all the X-factors against him and that’s why he enters this bout against Borg as a a huge underdog. I think Borg will be able to get the fight down to the ground, sink in his hooks, and secure a first-round rear-naked choke victory to keep on moving up in the UFC flyweight division. At -400 I see value in Borg as the first piece of a two-team parlay as I definitely see him winning this fight and believe the public is betting the wrong man here. I also think there’s some value in the Borg wins inside the distance prop, which is currently set at -140. I have a feeling that prop will drop down to near even money on fight day, and if it does I think it’s worth a stab.

Written by Adam Martin.

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