Coach Tom Vaughn Discusses Ray Borg’s Latest Win, Says UFC Flyweight Has “a Certain Something”
By Kelsey Mowatt
Although Ray Borg has fought just twice in the UFC, thanks to memorable performances against Dustin Ortiz and now Shane Howell, his time flying under the radar is over.
At UFC Fight Night 44, Borg tapped out Howell with a first round, rear-naked-choke, and earned “Performance of the Night” honors for doing so. The victory evened his Octagon record to 1-1, after Borg dropped a tightly contested, split decision to flyweight contender Dustin Ortiz in April.
While Borg may be turning heads throughout the broader MMA world for the first time, his head coach, Tom Vaughn, already had the inside scoop.
“He’s still pretty new in the game but Ray has a certain something,” the FIT NHB coach said about Borg, while appearing on a recent episode of Full Contact Fighter Radio. “I think we’ve made the right moves to get him where we’re at, and I’m a little bit surprised, in a good way, how quickly people are catching on with Ray. There’s a pretty good buzz on him right now.”
Borg was the consensus underdog when he agreed to face Ortiz at UFC on FOX 11, but since he pushed the #13 ranked flyweight throughout the bout, “The Tazmexican Devil” made a quick impression.
“He’s had two fights in the UFC, but even when he lost, he got a lot of attention,” Vaughn furthered about Borg. “He’s an exciting fighter and he’s a good kid.”
Although it remains to be seen whether Borg will continue to ascend the flyweight ranks, there’s no question that he’s a member of the ‘next generation’ of fighters. As Borg relayed to FCF Radio in the past, the New Mexico resident started training at the young age of 13, and now seven years later, he’s already part of the world’s largest MMA promotion.
“He had some good grappling when he got to our gym,” Vaughn noted about the 20 year-old. “He’s become a mixed-martial-artist. So he can box, he can kickbox, he can wrestle; we’ve just rounded him out. I would say striking is his biggest improvement. He’s got a lot more than he’s shown yet but that comes with experience. You start using those tools as you get more comfortable.”
“He did what he needed to do this past weekend,” Vaughn furthered. “He clipped Shane Howell pretty quick and then transitioned to a take down and there’s no complaints from me, you know? None. I want to see him showcase his stand-up skills, but when you’re there, and in the moment, your guy gets in done in two minutes, you don’t bitch about it.”
Not only that, but as mentioned before, Borg (7-1) was awarded “POTN” and an extra 50 grand for his quick victory.
“I think I can speak for him; he was happy,” Vaughn relayed. “He was really happy. We were on our way to the restaurant, maybe we were on the bus on the way back, and he got a phone call; he was all smiles. That’s a big deal for anybody, but gawd, for a 20 year-old? You know? Now it’s all about staying level, staying focused, and moving forward.”