Brian Kelleher and Ricky Simon will not be fighting on January 16 on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, Dubai.
Multiple sources have informed MyMMANews.com that Kelleher vs. Simon is off the card due to undisclosed reasons. It is also uncertain if the promotion will look to rebook the fight for a later date.
Brian Kelleher returned to the win column back in September as he submitted Ray Rodriguez in 39 seconds after losing to Cody Stamann at UFC 250. Before the loss to Stamann, “Boom” started 2020 with back-to-back upset wins over Hunter Azure and Ode Osbourne. The 34-year-old is 6-4 inside the Octagon and also holds a notable win over Renan Barao.
Ricky Simon, meanwhile, snapped his two-fight losing streak last time out as he beat Ray Borg by split decision in May. Before that, he dropped a decision to Rob Font and was knocked out by Urijah Faber. The 28-year-old is 4-2 inside the UFC with his other wins coming over Merab Dvalishvili, Montel Jackson, and Rani Yahya.
This is now the second time this fight has been canceled. Brian Kelleher and Ricky Simon were supposed to meet on September 5, but Simon was forced out of the fight after his cornerman tested positive for COVID-19. It is no doubt disappointing for both men as this is a very intriguing matchup where the winner would likely get a top-15 guy at bantamweight.
The January 16 card is now as follows:
- Max Holloway vs. Calvin Kattar
- Mike Grundy vs. Nik Lentz
- Jacob Kilburn vs. Austin Lingo
- Carlos Felipe vs. Justin Tafa
- Punahele Soriano vs. Dusko Todorovic
- Bethe Correia vs. Wu Yanan
- Carlos Condit vs. Matt Brown
- Christian Aguilera vs. Warlley Alves
- Omari Akhmedov vs. Tom Breese
- Ramazan Emeev vs. David Zawada
- Phil Hawes vs. Nassourdine Imavov
- Joaquin Buckley vs. Alessio Di Chirico
- Santiago Ponzinibbio vs. Li Jingliang
Cole Shelton covers MMA for BJPenn.com, MMANews, and MyMMANews.com while also being the lead MMA odds writer for Sports Betting Dime