BREAKING: Bantamweight Ricky Simon Rebooked to Face Brian Kelleher at UFC 258

Published 01/29/2021, 12:24 AM EST


UFC bantamweight Brian Kelleher and Ricky Simon will scrap at UFC 258 after multiple failed bookings. The news comes through via sources close to Bloody Canvas, and a clash is called for at UFC’s Apex Facility. The two elite 135-pounders were to scrap on September 5, 2020, and as recently as January 16, 2021.

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COVID-19 played its part in making sure the bout fell out as Simon was the one pulled from the September date. Moreover, ‘Boom’ Kelleher also tested positive, albeit without symptoms, and was swiftly pulled from UFC on ABC. Ricky Simon stayed on the card and made sure he found himself in the win column to pick up some momentum.

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UFC bantamweights: Brian Kelleher vs Ricky Simon

Kelleher is coming off a stellar 2020 that saw him rack up an impressive 3-1 record in the calendar year. ‘Boom’ has consistently been one of the best 135-pounders, and his high activity rate has certainly helped his growth. The 22-11 fighter is coming off an impressive Guillotine choke win over Ray Rodriguez on the same 5 September card in his last bout.

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Kelleher relies on his explosiveness and durability to get through his opponents, and it’s certainly been a reliable asset thus far. His granite chin allows him to eat heavy leather from some of the divisions best, while also moving forward. Additionally, he’s able to put together comprehensive combinations that ensure he’s always providing a new look.

Ricky Simon is on a two-fight win streak and is fresh off a second-round Arm-Triangle submission win over Gaetano Pirrello. Simon was looking to build a streak of activity, and his confidence will be through the roof with his recent win. Chiefly, a long-standing issue has been his stints of inactivity, and 2021 seems to be the year to amend that.

May 13, 2020; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Ricky Simon (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Ray Borg (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Simon can slip into range like very few UFC fighters can. The 17-3 veteran has seen it all, and he’s able to craft an offense that causes a pandora’s box of problems. Moreover, there’s not much that can be done about his swift leg kicks.

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Darryl Pinto

1780 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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