UFC Vegas 45: Ricky Simon Swarms Raphael Assuncao, Scores KO Finish

Ricky Simon and Raphael Assuncao, UFC Vegas 45
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 18: (L-R) Ricky Simon kicks Raphael Assuncao of Brazil in their bantamweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on December 18, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

A pair of bantamweights on opposite trajectories met on Saturday’s UFC Vegas 45 main card.

Raphael Assuncao, who had long flirted with title contention, had lost three straight, with all the implications such a streak carries with it surrounding him heading into the final UFC event of the year. Opponent Ricky Simon, meanwhile, had won three straight — and was hoping a victory over a ranked veteran would break him back into the bantamweight division’s top 15.

A low blow by Ricky Simon halted this one almost as soon as it had started. Assuncao took a few moments to recover; back underway, Simon took the fight to the ground, stacking the Brazilian up against the fence. When Assuncao scrambled out, he fired a spinning back fist upon his return to his feet, only to be taken down again.

Round two found Simon walking down his opponent, and that paid off soon enough. Simon clipped the Brazilian with a right hand, and Assuncao slumped back against the fence. Ricky Simon was right on top of his fallen foe, landing an uppercut and a few more ground strikes to seal the deal.

Not an entirely unexpected outcome for Simon at UFC Vegas 45, but the violence behind it should make fans take notice. Come early next week, Simon should once again be a top 15 fighter in the UFC bantamweight division.

Official Result: Ricky Simon def. Raphael Assuncao by knockout, Round 2, 2:14