Exciting bantamweights, Ricky Simon and Brian Kelleher finally look set to clash after two prior failed pairings, as they draw each other at UFC 258 on February 13th. in a 145-pound featherweight limit bout.
The two were originally scheduled to meet at UFC Vegas 9 in September, until Simon was forced to withdraw after a corner person of his returned a positive COVID-19 test result. In turn, Kelleher remained on the card, stopping short-notice replacement, Ray Rodriguez with a taut opening-round guillotine.
Rebooked for UFC Fight Island 8 last week, on that occasion, Kelleher was forced to remove himself from proceedings after he returned a positive test for the novel coronavirus on January 1st. Remaining on the card, Simon clashed with Gaetano Pirrello, scoring a second-round arm-triangle win of his own.
The victory marked the Washington native’s second on the trot, following a March win over one-time flyweight title chaser, Ray ‘The Tazmexican Devil’ Borg in an entertaining split-decision triumph.
Returning to the winner’s enclosure against the above mentioned, Rodriguez, New York native, Kelleher had dropped a unanimous decision defeat to Cody ‘The Spartan’ Stamann at UFC 250 in June at the UFC Apex facility. News of the rebooked pairing of Simon and Kelleher was first reported by Bloody Canvas MMA.
A product of Dana White’s Contender Series back in August of 2017, Vancouver native, Simon is a seven-fight Octagon veteran, linking up with the UFC following a two-fight stint with LFA after his appearance on DWCS.
Debuting with a contentious guillotine win over the streaking, Merab Dvalishvili, Simon then bested Montel Jackson and Rani Yahya, before dropping a knockout defeat to former WEC featherweight champion, Urijah Faber, and a decision loss to Rob Font.
Kelleher, 34, has featured in the UFC since UFC 212 in June of 2017, where he landed in the organization with a submission win over the renowned, Iuri Alcantara. Suffering an armbar loss to Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera next, Kelleher would amass a two-fight winning spree with wins over Damian Stasiak, and former bantamweight champion, Renan Barao.
Skidding in defeats to the heavy-handed, John Lineker and Montel Jackson, Kelleher bested both Ode Osbourne and Hunter Azure prior to his defeat to Stamann last summer.
UFC 258 takes place on February 13th. from the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada — with a welterweight title matchup between defending champion, Kamaru ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ Usman and challenger, Gilbert ‘Durinho’ Burns slated to take main event honours.