UFC Fight Island: Another Fight Canceled as Brian Kelleher Tests Positive for COVID-19

Published 01/01/2021, 11:30 PM EST


UFC Fight Island 7 headlined by Max Holloway and Calvin Kattar is down a bantamweight match-up courtesy of COVID-19. Brian Kelleher who’s been busy throughout 2020 won’t be returning to action after he was forced to withdraw. ‘Boom’ Kelleher was slated to take on Ricky Simon on the UFC’s first Fight Card in 2021.

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The news first came out through MyMMANews.com after rumblings of the same began to pop up through sources. Furthermore, it’s reported that Kelleher isn’t facing any immediate symptoms following his positive testing. The aforementioned bout was a sure-fire ‘Fight of the Night’ contender and is a blow to the card as a whole.

It’s unclear whether Simon will be scrapped from the card or whether the UFC will scramble to find him an opponent. He’s a ‘blink and you miss it’ talent, and his presence on a Fight Card helps to attract fans who love slugfests.

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UFC fighter overview: Brian Kelleher vs Ricky Simon

Brian Kelleher has gone 3-1 throughout 2020 after getting an early start last January at UFC 246. Kelleher’s only loss in 2020 came against Cody Stamann. He finished all three of his other opponents and bounced back from a disappointing 2018.

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Brian ‘Boom’ was absent throughout 2019. He will hope that he isn’t hit by the aftereffects of the virus, as he will aim to make a quick return to the octagon and build on his successful 2020. Chiefly, he’ll be hoping that the UFC keeps the booking intact so he can make a quick turnaround.

Ricky Simon scalped one win in 2020 that came in the form of a split decision win over Ray Borg. He’s been unable to maintain the activity required to reach contention in the talent stacked bantamweight division. This wasn’t the case in his early fighting days as he was on the fast track until losing two straight fights.

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

The 16-3 fighter has his work cut out for him as he prepares himself to potentially pick up a late replacement opponent. The 135-pound division is stacked with talent through the divisional ranking, and activity is the name of the game.

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Darryl Pinto

1463 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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