Looking back on his victory over Rani Yahya at UFC 234 in February, bantamweight Ricky Simon couldn’t be happier.
Not only was Simon happy to pick up a unanimous decision win over a fighter with twice his experience, to be able to do it in Australia added to the sweetness of the victory.
“It was great,” Simon told MMAWeekly.com. “It was one thing to put together a game plan with your coaches, but it’s another to travel half way across the world and perform and do it. I’m super happy with it, (as) my coaches are.”
For Simon, it’s not just winning his fights that are important to him, but how he’s able to fight and potentially deliver on the promise he shows in training camps.
“I think that’s been my biggest problem is that I perform a little bit better in the gym and I’m a little bit more loose, so once you get out there it’s kind of hard to pull the trigger sometimes,” said Simon.
“There’s definitely in-fight experience that is so valuable. With each outing I’m getting more experience, more comfortable, and more dangerous.”
At UFC on ESPN+ 13 in Sacramento, Calif., on Saturday, Simon (15-1) will face UFC Hall of Famer Urijah Faber (34-10) in the evening’s 135-pound co-main event.
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“When I got the call to fight Urijah, I was so pumped,” said Simon. “He’s a Hall of Famer, he’s a legend, but he’s getting old. I think we have similar styles, but I’m going to be more explosive, faster, stronger, and I’m going to win just about every position that we get into.
“(Faber’s name) does for me as far as the build-up, recognition, and eyes on the fight. With bigger names, the experience is overall going to be better, and better for my career. But it could be Urijah Faber or another prospect, I don’t care, I’m going to try to knock you out.”
For Simon, a win on July 13 will further the path he has set forth for himself in order to achieve his overall goal.
“I’m a firm believer in setting goals, and I set the goal for 2019 to break the Top 10,” said Simon.
“I already broke the Top 15, and now I’m fighting a Hall of Famer, and after this I’d like to get a Top 10 fight, and break into the Top 10 and get a little bit closer to the ultimate goal of becoming the UFC bantamweight champion.”
Tune in to MMAWeekly.com on Saturday, July 13, for full UFC on ESPN+ 13: de Randamie vs. Ladd live results. Former featherweight champion Germaine de Randamie continues her pursuit for a bantamweight title shot, as she squares off with Aspen Lass in the main event. The UFC on ESPN+ 13 co-main event in Sacramento, Calif., features UFC Hall of Famer Urijah Faber coming out of retirement to test himself against Ricky Simon in front of his hometown crowd.