Ricky Simon: Ranking Up on a Legend

Jul 9, 2019

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Gracie Barra Portland’s Ricky Simon started his 2019 campaign with an impressive win over Ultimate Fighting Championship stalwart Rani Yahya. The win, at UFC 234, established the Washington native as a legitimate force in the bantamweight division. At UFC Fight Night 155, set to take place inside the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California, Simon will get the opportunity to ascend to a higher promotional echelon when he welcomes back to the UFC hometown legend and UFC Hall of Famer Urijah Faber, who is stepping back into the Octagon for the first time since he retired nearly three years ago.

It is not every day that a UFC Hall of Famer steps into the Octagon to compete. So, when rumors started swirling around that the “California Kid” might make a return to the fabled Octagon, Simon, 26, jumped at the chance to be considered as a possible return opponent for Faber.

“I heard some rumblings that Urijah wanted to come back, so I threw my name in the hat,” Simon told Sherdog. “I’m sure that he could have waited for a bigger name, so I’m definitely excited and happy he chose to come back against a tough fighter. A rising prospect. He’s a Hall of Famer and it’s a great opportunity to raise my prospects.”

Simon is grateful for the opportunity to face Faber, and he does not view this booking as the Team Alpha Male founder looking for an easy comeback fight. Quite the contrary, Simon feels that Faber was looking to be welcomed back to competition with a stiff test.

“I think he knows it’s going to be a tough fight,” said Simon. “He knows it’s going to be an exciting fight, and he’s up for the challenge. I don’t think he’s looking for an easy fight [and] I don’t think he’s ever done something like that. I think he wants to prove he still has it, so beating a hungry, young prospect [is the way to do that].”

Along with his thoughts on facing Faber, Simon also spoke to Sherdog in this exclusive interview about his pivotal victory against Yahya in February, getting married a couple of weeks ahead of his battle with Faber, moving up into the top-15 and rankings more broadly, preparing for the boisterous hometown crowd on fight night, and much more. Advertisement


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