Demetrious Johnson’s attempt at breaking the record for consecutive UFC title defenses will be put on hold. The UFC flyweight champion will no longer be competing at UFC 215, with his opponent Ray Borg pulling out of the contest with an illness. UFC doctors would not clear him to compete, Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting reports.
News of the fight cancellation comes just two days before the championship bout was set to take place Saturday night in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. With such little time separating the fallout and the scheduled event, the UFC would not have enough time to find a replacement opponent for Johnson.
Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko, a women’s bantamweight title fight originally booked for the co-main slot, will now take over headlining honors. Ironically, the shift comes just a few months after UFC president Dana White vowed to never book Nunes as a headliner ever again after she pulled out of UFC 213 in July last-minute with an illness.
As noted, Johnson was just one victory away from his 11th title defense, a mark that would allow him to surpass former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva for the promotional record of consecutive title defenses.
Helwani reports the UFC is set on trying to rebook the flyweight championship fight, though no date has been discussed.
Johnson (26-2) is undefeated as a member of the flyweight division. He’s stormed past everybody since becoming champion, and has a strong case for taking the crown as the greatest fighter of all time.