UFC 258- Usman vs Burns: Brian Kelleher vs Ricky Simon: Prediction and Analysis

Published 02/12/2021, 10:19 PM EST


Ricky Simon takes on Brian Kelleher in a featherweight bout at UFC 258. The fight was bumped up to the main card as the fight between Bobby Green and Jim Miller was called off due to a bad weight cut for the former. 

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Both Simon and Kelleher are unranked in the featherweight division at the moment. Hence, they will be aiming to take a step forward towards gaining a rank with a positive result this weekend. Both men are coming off wins in their recent outings and will be hoping to continue the good run of form. 

Heading into the fight, we take a closer look at the strengths and weaknesses of both fighters and the possible route to victory for both men involved in the featherweight clash at UFC 258. 

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Read: Dana White confirms Jon Jones will face the winner of Stipe Miocic vs Francis Ngannou 

Ricky Simon vs Brian Kelleher is a must-watch fight at UFC 258

Simon made his UFC debut with a spectacular submission win over Merab Dvalishvili in April 2018. Most recently, Simon secured an impressive submission win over Gaetano Pirrello. He is now on a two-fight win streak and will be aiming to extend that to three this weekend. 

Kelleher made his UFC debut with a submission win over Iuri Alcantara in June 2017. Most recently, he secured a submission win over Ray Rodriguez last September and bounced back into the win column after a loss against Cody Stamann in June 2020. 

Simon has secured 53% of his wins via decision. Going into the fight, he will have a three-inch reach advantage which he will surely capitalize on. Simon has landed an impressive 2.51 significant strikes per minute in his UFC career; he has absorbed 4.13 in return. 

Simon is excellent on the ground and has averaged 4.33 takedowns per 15 minutes and 0.33 submissions in the same time period. Given his opponent’s submission prowess, he may not look to initiate a takedown. 

Boom’ has secured 45% of his wins via submission. He is extremely lethal on the ground and has averaged 1.21 takedowns per 15 minutes and 0.6 submissions in the same time period. However, a takedown defense of 76% will ensure that Simon will not have an easy job in eliminating his opponent’s vertical base at the UFC Apex. 

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Kelleher does not lag behind in the striking department and has landed an impressive 4.48 significant strikes per minute. However, he has absorbed a concerning 6 significant strikes per minute, which might be his downfall. 

Given recent form and performances, Ricky Simon should be able to secure a third straight win at UFC 258 this weekend. 

Prediction: Ricky Simon via decision

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Kevin Binoy

825 articles

Kevin Binoy is an MMA author at EssentiallySports. He earned a Bachelor's degree from Fergusson College and has been covering sports professionally for over two years. Besides working with the MMA writing team, Kevin is a core member of the organization's web stories team and is responsible for delivering engaging MMA web stories.

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