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Brian Kelleher tests positive for COVID-19, out of UFC Fight Island 7 fight with Ricky Simon

Brian Kelleher has been forced out of his fight with Ricky Simon.

Brian Kelleher, UFC Fight Island 7, COVID-19 Cancellations

Another day, another COVID-19 related fight cancellation.

This time around it’s Brian Kelleher who, due to a positive test for the virus, has been forced out of his UFC Fight Island 7 date with Ricky Simon (per MMA Fighting). Kelleher and Simon were supposed to face-off on January 16 in Abu Dhabi. The UFC are reportedly hoping to keep Simon on the card with a new opponent.

Kelleher has a 22-11 record and was successful last time out. At UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Sakai in September Kellleher tapped out Ray Rodriguez with a guillotine choke inside 40 seconds. That was Kelleher’s third guillotine win in the UFC.

‘Boom’ entered the UFC’s bantamweight division in 2017 with a successful debut versus Iuri Alcantara. After wins over former champion Renan Barao and Damian Stasiak, and losses to Marlon Vera and John Lineker, Kelleher moved up to featherweight in 2020.

He won his first UFC fight at 145lbs versus Hunter Azure at UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Teixeira in May 2020. His second featherweight bout was a loss to Cody Stamman at UFC 250 a month later.

Kelleher was scheduled to return to bantamweight to take on Simon back in September. However, one of Simon’s corners tested positive for COVID-19, forcing the fight to be postponed.

Simon (16-3) is a former LFA bantamweight champion who made his UFC debut in 2018 opposite Merab Dvalishvili. He won that debut with a technical submission. He then beat Montel Jackson and Rani Yahya before coming unstuck versus Hall of Famer Urijah Faber at UFC Fight Night: de Randamie vs. Ladd in 2019.

After that he dropped a decision to Rob Front and then defeated former flyweight title challenger Ray Borg.

In addition to Simon vs. TBD, UFC Fight Island 7 is scheduled to feature Max Holloway vs. Calvin Kattar and Santiago Ponzinibbo vs. Li Jingliang.