“I’m a Problem” – Ricky Simon Explains Why Bantamweight Division Needs to Buckle Up

Published 05/15/2020, 3:04 PM EDT
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

Ricky Simon grabbed the biggest win of his career at UFC on ESPN+ 29 in Jacksonville, Florida. The Bantamweight contender edged out Ray Borg via a split decision on the main card.

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Following the victory, Simon was in good spirits at the post-fight media scrum. In a champion-less division, the Vancouver native is now hoping for a quick rise to the top.

Not a long while ago, Simon was on an eight-fight win streak that made him one of the hottest names in MMA. However, his previous two fights before meeting Borg had put a screeching halt to his run.

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In his defense, one of them was against UFC Hall-of-Famer Urijah Faber. The other one was a Fight of the Night unanimous decision loss to Rob Font.

At only 27 years of age, Simon still has a lot of time to make a run towards a title shot. With experience in his bag, he is very confident about his abilities.

I’ve always known where I belong,” Simon said during the post-fight media scrum. “I belong at the top of the division. I’m 16-3 now. I have the experience, and he’s an ex-title challenger. That means a lot, too. I have the experience and I just proved that I have the talent, as well. … I just have something in me.

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

The Bantamweight division is extremely top-heavy at the moment. Contenders like Aljamain Sterling, Petr Yan and Cory Sandhagen are exciting prospects. Even the former champ, Dominick Cruz, looked sharp before being knocked out by Cejudo.

Ricky Simon accepts he loves getting dirty in the Octagon

Irrespective of the competition, Simon is backing himself to rise the ranks of the 135-pounds weight class.

I just want it and I’m not going to go away. I’m always trying to get better. I’m a problem and the bantamweight division is going to have to deal with me. I feel good.”

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Simon’s fight with Borg was an equal mix of striking and grappling. Until the judges’ scorecards were read, Simon wasn’t sure of his victory.

However, he was certain that he had given everything inside the Octagon. Moreover, both the fighters enjoyed the fight as there was some friendly banter during the exchanges.

Looking back at his latest visit to the Octagon, the now mullet-free fighter knows he could have executed the game plan in a better way. Regardless, he doesn’t have a lot of regrets.

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“I wish I would have stayed a little more technical in the fight. I knew I had a lot of advantages, but damn I love to fight and get dirty in there,” Simon said.

With a win over Borg in the bag, Simon will now be looking for a top-15 ranked opponent who can help him climb the rankings.

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Rishabh Singh

655 articles

Rishabh Singh is an MMA author at EssentiallySports since 2020. An engineer in the making, his love for combat sports began by watching Anderson Silva light people up inside the Octagon. When he isn't busy in his technical pursuits, he is an avid reader with a love for sports in general and sporting history in particular.

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