Though he suffered his second career loss in 46 seconds to Urijah Faber at UFC on ESPN+ 13 this past July, bantamweight Ricky Simon chooses to look at the positives of the situation.
For Simon, the opportunity to face one of the sports all-time greats in front of one of the most raucous crowds he’s ever been around was worth the unfortunate outcome.
“I think it was an awesome experience,” Simon told MMAWeekly.com. “I went into a Hall of Famer’s hometown and got to experience the crowd over there. It was one of the coolest experiences of my life. The crowd was so loud and so crazy.
“Overall I took it as a learning experience. I think I got a little excited in there and ended up getting caught. That was it. I feel like I’m still one of the elite bantamweights in the world, and now all I have to do is show it against the #10 (ranked) guy in Rob Font on December 7.”
For Simon, the outcome of the fight didn’t dictate massive overhauls of his game, he does admit some things needed to be changed afterwards, even if some are a bit facetious.
“I know there’s always something to work on,” said Simon. “I’m not just chalking it up to ‘I got caught’. I’ve definitely been working on a bunch of different things. But at the same time anything can happen there and that’s why this is a sport.
“In preparation for my next fight I’ve brought back one of my old coaches, Rudy Garza, who I started out with, and as far as changing anything up, I’ve trimmed about four inches off the mullet, so that way I don’t have to tie it up for the next fight, and I can let it flow freely.”
On December 7 in Washington, DC, Simon (15-2) will look to rebound when he faces Rob Font (16-4) in a main card bantamweight bout at UFC on ESPN 7.
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“I don’t think of myself as just a wrestler, but this is kind of a match-up of a striker versus of a grappler, and it’s an exciting one because we both like to throw down,” Simon said. “I wanted this fight because (Font’s) a top ranked guy and he brings it every time. I’m very excited about the match-up, and I think I have what it takes to get him out of there.”
For Simon, the loss to Faber is just a temporary setback and doesn’t derail the goal he has set for himself heading into 2020.
“I definitely set goals,” said Simon. “My first year in the UFC I wanted to break into the Top 15, and this year I wanted to get into the Top 10, and even with this bump in the road with my last fight, I’m still on track to hit my goal with a win over Rob Font.”