After his fourth-consecutive win, Ricky Simon finds himself in the Top-15 of the UFC bantamweight division rankings, sitting at 13th in the division, and he’s starting to turn heads. Picking up a second-round TKO victory over Raphael Assuncao at UFC Vegas 45, Simon jumped into the division rankings and afterward took aim at one of the most popular fighters in the division: Sean O’Malley.
Following his victory over Assuncao, Simon was a guest on Sirius XM’s Fight Nation and spoke about his victory over Assuncao and what he feels changed from his decision victory over Brian Kelleher at the beginning of 2021, and his finish over Assuncao to close out the year.
"He's a good fighter but I think the difference between us is I'm willing to find out…I'm not trying to just coddle my record."@RickySimonUFC reflects on his knockout win at #UFCVegas45 and discusses his recent callout 👀@RyanMcKinnell @AngieOverkill pic.twitter.com/80klRs50Mu
— MMA on SiriusXM (@MMAonSiriusXM) December 23, 2021
“I’ve always said this, that I’m better in the gym than I am in my fights and you always heard about those people and I’m like ‘That won’t be me, I’m gonna show out when it’s time to fight’ but I had something holding me back. I don’t know if it was being in the UFC and the bright lights or what but I wasn’t performing in the fights like I was in the gym, I was so tense. The theme of the week [at UFC Vegas 45] was just stay relaxed. I do this every day, I’ve been doing this for a while now, so I know what I’m capable of and I’m like, I need to make this happen in the fight and if I can stay relaxed, I know something good is going to happen.”
Before his four-fight winning streak, Ricky Simon endured a two-fight losing skid with his last loss coming to Rob Font, who now ranks fifth inside the division. While many pointed out Simon’s callout of Sean O’Malley, he also called for a rematch against Rob Font, and he explained why he chose those names in a polite fashion after his win.
“I think cause if someone was calling me out, [if] we’ve almost fought a couple times and talked a little bit, if someone was saying my name that much, just who I am, I’m going to say something back or I’m going to answer him. I started to feel like a bully cause he [O’Malley] hasn’t [responded] cause I want the fight. I’m not trying to bully the kid, I’m not trying to bully him into a fight, this is what we do. If you don’t want to fight, I can move on. I think I get tied to stuff all the time to fight, a lot of people in the media have asked me about fighting him, I’m willing.
He’s a dangerous fight, he’s a good fighter, a really good fighter but I think the difference between the two of us is I’m willing to find out. I’m not trying to just coddle my record, I’m 19-3, I’ve been around, so like I said, I’m willing to find out.”
If Sean O’Malley is ready, Ricky Simon is ready to be his dance partner and face him inside the UFC Octagon. Following O’Malley’s most recent victory at UFC 269 over Raulian Paiva, bantamweight Adrian Yanez complimented his performance but once again called for a fight against “Sugar” as the two have recently gone back-and-forth.
Riding momentum into the division’s rankings, Ricky Simon is ready for whoever the UFC is willing to give him, but he’s also ready for “The Suga Show”, if the popular bantamweight is ready to fight him as well.
Mike Pendleton is a current contributor to MyMMANews while also hosting his “On The Mic” podcast and is a former Associate Producer at Sirius XM’s Fight Nation.
With a special passion for interviewing and talking to the very best around the fight game, you can read or listen to Mike’s work across his multiple outlets.
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