Las Vegas, NV — Bantamweights Ricky Simon and Brian Kelleher, after a couple of false starts, finally threw down at UFC 258 over the weekend. At featherweight.
The long-awaited clash went the distance, with Simon getting his hand raised in the end. “We wanted that fight for a while. We knew it was going to be a tough one. I’m excited that we finally got it done,” he exclaimed backstage following the bout, speaking to media outlets including Cageside Press.
Simon opened up a cut on his opponent early, something he admonished Kelleher about. “It’s too early to be bleeding like that!”
For Simon, the win is his third in a row, a streak which includes a victory over former flyweight title challenger Ray Borg. And while the Kelleher bout came at 145lbs, it was at least against a fellow bantamweight. Given that, Simon has an idea of what he wants next.
“I always like to pick somebody, but honestly, I think two years ago I broke the top 15. I suffered some losses, to a Hall of Famer [Urijah Faber] and a guy who’s ranked top 5 right now, I think he’s 3 [Rob Font],” said Simon. “I think I’m deserving of someone in the rankings again. I know there’s a lot going on in the bantamweight division, but I think that’s what I want next, is a ranked opponent.”
First, however, “I owe my family some time. Spend some time with the family,” Simon stated. But that most certainly won’t be for too long. “This is what I do. I can’t go a week without training. I go crazy,” Simon added. “So a little bit of time with the family, let the body heal, then right back it at, maybe two or three more fights this year. Hopefully two or three more fights this year.”
Watch the full UFC 258 post-fight press scrum with Ricky Simon above.