Brian Kelleher vs. Ricky Simon Rebooked for UFC Card on Jan. 16

By Jay Pettry Oct 9, 2020

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A fun scrap nixed in September has been rescheduled for a newly announced Ultimate Fighting Championship card in January.

The news first coming out on Friday from MMA Fighting, Brian Kelleher (22-11) has since confirmed on Twitter that he will be competing on a Jan. 16 UFC event. On this fight card, he will be facing Ricky Simon (16-3) at bantamweight, in a bout previously booked on UFC Fight Night 176 only to fall off when one of Simon’s cornermen tested positive for COVID-19. There is not currently a venue set, although it is expected to take place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas due to the coronavirus pandemic still affecting the U.S. There are no other bouts currently set for the event.

Kelleher remained on UFC Fight Night 176 after Simon withdrew, where he was planning on facing Kevin Natividad as a short-notice replacement. Natividad also withdrew from the card for undisclosed reasons, and the promotion had Ray Rodriguez on standby in case Natividad was not cleared to compete. “Boom” went on to lock up a 39-second guillotine choke to earn what was at the time quickest submission of the year in the UFC, and the fastest since Danny Henry’s 39-second guillotine of Hakeem Dawodu in 2018.

Simon snapped a two-fight skid in the form of a knockout loss to Urijah Faber and a decision defeat to Rob Font by taking an unexpected split decision over Ray Borg in May. The upset loss to Faber ended an eight-fight win streak including a trio of UFC wins over Merab Dvalishvili, Montel Jackson and Rani Yahya. Against Dvalishvili, Simon earned the latest possible finish in a three-round UFC bout, putting the Georgian to sleep with a guillotine choke at the 5:00 buzzer of the third round.

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