UFC Vegas 45: Ricky Simon Feels “A Lot More Confident” In Current UFC Win Streak

Las Vegas, NV — Bantamweight Ricky Simon finally steps back into the octagon this Saturday after ten months away — a situation that was not of his making.

“You know it’s not. I would like to be a little bit more active than that,” Simon (18-3) stated during Wednesday’s UFC Vegas 45 media day. The event will see him go up against longtime veteran Raphael Assuncao. “But I got two fights so quick, done so quick right at the beginning of the year, January, February, so I wasn’t stressing it. I was in a good spot. But I like to be active, so get this one under, and hopefully get something scheduled real soon.”

Simon rides a tidy little win streak into UFC Vegas 45, and it’s a situation he’s found himself in before. “It feels right. We’ve been here before. When I first got into the UFC, I was on a three fight win streak, and I was ranked right away and we did that,” Simon recalled. “So I think I’m back in that same spot, but I’m better prepared this time. I feel a lot more comfortable in my skills, I’m a lot more well-rounded.” Simon has been splitting his time between Team Oyama and American Top Team, and the end result is that he’s “just feeling a lot more confident this go-round.”

The Assuncao match-up is also a pairing that has Simon feeling positive as well. “This is actually the fight I called for after the Kelleher fight last February,” he noted. Then Assuncao wound up booked, only for the fight to fall through.

“It ended up working out. So I’m happy. It’s the fight I wanted, he’s a legend of our weight class. He’s been around a long time, has a lot of wins. But he’s on a three fight losing streak and I’m on a three fight winning streak. And I believe I belong in the rankings. I’ve had close fights with top five guys, I beat #6, I’ve been around too. This is my 22nd professional fight, so I’m ready.”

Less than two weeks ago, Simon had to watch his cousin, Vince Morales, fight one of his teammates, Louis Smolka — a bit of an odd situation for Ricky Simon.

“I was at the Apex, I watched it live. Man, that was tough. I’d never felt like that. Obviously Vince Morales is my cousin, is my family. I feel close to Louis Smolka as well, I’ve been training with him, at Hawaii Elite years ago, then he moved to Oyama’s and I ended up moving to Oyama’s to train too. So I know Louis very well. Yeah, that was a tough one. Either way it was going to be tough. It happens sometimes.”

Watch the full UFC Vegas 45 media day appearance from Ricky Simon above. More coverage from the event, which takes place this Saturday, December 18, 2021 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, can be found below.