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Ricky Simon vs. Brian Kelleher targeted for January UFC event

The matchup was previously nixed due to a positive COVID-19 test.

UFC Fight Night: Overeem v Sakai Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC

We’re approaching mid-October but the UFC is already working on its schedule for 2021.

Per MMA Fighting, verbal agreements are in for an entertaining bantamweight showdown between veterans Ricky Simon and Brian Kelleher. The tentative date is January 16th at a location to be determined. Originally, Simon and Kelleher were booked for September 5th before one of Simon’s coaches tested positive for COVID-19 and Simon was subsequently removed from the card.

Kelleher (22-11) took on short notice replacement Ray Rodriguez in lieu of Simon on that UFC Vegas 9 show, winning by guillotine choke in under a minute. It was a bounce back victory for the Long Islander after a competitive decision defeat to Cody Stamann. Kelleher has fought four times in 2020, compiling a 3-1 record while primarily competing at featherweight.

Simon (16-3) won his first three UFC bouts before a pair of losses to Urijah Faber and Rob Font. His lone appearance in 2020 saw him defeat Ray Borg by split decision to end that losing skid. He’s also the last person to defeat rising contender Merab Dvalishvili, scoring a controversial guillotine choke finish as time expired to end the fight.

There’s no word on other matchups for the UFC’s January 16th card.

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