Ricky Simon has another big name on tap for his next fight.
On Friday, MMA DNA was first to report that Simon is set to take on Raphael Assuncao as part of the UFC’s December 18 Fight Night event. It’s a change in plans for Simon, who earlier this year had been announced by the UFC to be taking on Timur Valiev at UFC 266.
Despite being part of a press release announcing the PPV card, Simon vs. Valiev was apparently not a done deal. Eventually, Valiev was paired with Daniel Santos for a fight next month, which has also fallen through.
Simon (18-3), meanwhile, will head into the fight with Assuncao riding a three fight win streak. In that stretch, he’s posted wins against Ray Borg, Gaetano Pirrello, and Brian “Boom” Kelleher. Kicking off his career with the UFC in 2018, the bantamweight is 6-2 overall, with his only losses coming to Urijah Faber and Rob Font.
Assuncao (27-8) has been on the exact opposite trajectory of late. He’s lost his past three fights, against Marlon Moraes, Cory Sandhagen, and Cody Garbrandt. In his last outing, he was knocked senseless by ex-champ Garbrandt.
It’s worth noting that Assuncao’s level of competition has pretty much been the top five of the bantamweight division of late.
The UFC’s December 18, 2021 event does not yet have a location, venue, or broadcast plan officially announced. The Apex is Las Vegas is likely, however. The following bouts have been reported for the event to date:
Amanda Lemos vs. Nina Ansaroff
Anthony Hernandez vs. Dustin Stoltzfus
Don’Tale Mayes vs. Josh Parisian
Raphael Assuncao vs. Ricky Simon