UFC Fight Night 73 Preview: Ray Borg vs Geane Herrera

20130224025838_ray_borgThe main card of UFC Fight Night 73 opens up with a fantastic flyweight matchup between top flyweight prospect Ray Borg and the newly signed Geane Herrera. Borg is currently riding a two fight win streak, while Herrera enters the contest with an unblemished 8-0 record.   Ray Borg (8-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC, -430 favorite) Borg entered the UFC in April of 2014 with a decent amount of hype behind him, but it was not until his UFC debut against Dustin Ortiz that most fans got to see just how good the youngster from Albuquerque, New Mexico was. Borg gave Ortiz fits for three rounds with his relentless grappling, but the judges went against how most observers scored the fight and awarded the contest to Ortiz via split decision. Ray put the controversial loss behind and went on to dominate and ultimately submit his next two opponents, Shane Howell and Chris Kelades. Borg is a tremendous grappler that excels in transitions and scrambles. He has an astonishing ability to quickly take his opponent’s back with just the tiniest of an opening. Although he does not come from a high-level wrestling background, Borg has managed to develop a great wrestling game. He can hit takedowns against the cage and in open space, which not many fighters can do. Further, he has an affinity for picking his opponent up and slamming them to the mat with force. From top position he is a tireless worker that throws hard elbows and punches in order to create openings to pass to a dominant position. Once he achieves a dominant position he immediately looks to finish the fight, whether it is from ground and pound or by submission. He has five wins via rear-naked choke, which is due largely to his tremendous ability to take his opponent’s back. However, his submission arsenal is not limited to just a rear-naked choke, as he has a wide variety of submissions at his disposal. We don’t see much of Ray’s striking game because he spends so much time grappling, but he is competent in that realm as well. He has a solid right hand and check left hook, which are complimented by solid body and head kicks.   Geane Herrera (8-0, 0-0 UFC, +345 underdog) Like Borg, Herrera will be making his UFC debut with a bit of hype behind him. While the odds suggest a one-sided fight, Herrera is actually a very good prospect with a perfect 8-0 record. He also seems to have the confidence and maturity that is needed to succeed at the UFC level, but we will not know that for sure until he actually steps foot inside the Octagon. Herrera is a plus athlete that excels in some of the same areas as Borg, mainly grappling and in transitions. He immediately looks to transition from a dominant position to a submission, which is also a Ray Borg trait. He is almost reckless to a fault at times, but nevertheless is exceptionally dangerous. Geane’s game is fairly well-rounded but he does not have much of a striking game from range, as most of his best work comes in close quarters with knees and punches. His clinch is strong and he has power in his strikes. The one liability in his game may be his takedown defense, which is something that Borg will certainly look to exploit.   Thoughts Borg threw a wrench into this fight when he missed weight yesterday by three-quarters of a pound. He had an additional hour to cut the weight but chose not to, which automatically forfeited 20% of his purse to Herrera. Three-quarters of a pound is not a lot of weight but he may have stopped sweating and when you stop sweating and are already very dehydrated it is very hard and draining to lose more weight. Perhaps he chose to save his energy so he could perform at his best in the fight. It would certainly concern me if I had a bet on Borg. Although Ray missing weight makes it more difficult for him, I still think he will come out on top. Borg trains at elevation in Albuquerque and has excellent conditioning, so I am not that concerned about him gassing out quickly. Borg and Herrera have similar grappling styles, but I believe Borg is the much better wrestler and will be able to obtain top position when he wants it. However, Ray will have to be careful in scrambles and in close quarters on the feet, as Herrera is especially dangerous in those positions. If Borg is able to rehydrate properly I expect him to outwrestle Herrera and win most of the scrambles on the mat. While I would not be surprised in the least if Borg submitted Herrera, I believe a decision is more likely because of Herrera’a proficiency on the mat.   The Prediction Ray Borg defeats Geane Herrera by unanimous decision

Written by Mike James

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