One of the standout performances on Saturday’s UFC Long Island card was from bantamweight contender Ricky Simon (20-3), who ended Welsh prospect Jack Shore’s undefeated record with a second-round knockdown and subsequent arm-triangle choke submission. Simon has won five straight fights, making his consecutive losses to Urijah Faber and Rob Font seem like a distant memory.
The latest rankings have Simon at No. 13, having randomly dropped two spots for no particular reason below Frankie Edgar and Sean O’Malley. In his post-fight interview, Simon had a name ready for his next fight.
“O’Malley, the Sugar show is over,” Simon said as the Long Island fans in UBS Arena cheered. “I’m the sweetest thing in this bantamweight division.”
O’Malley (15-1, 1 NC) is coming off a no contest against Pedro Munhoz at UFC 276. The fight ended with Munhoz unable to continue from an O’Malley eye poke, although in Sean’s world he won by TKO. He’s otherwise won his previous three fights by knockout over Thomas Almeida, Kris Moutinho, and Raulivan Paiva. O’Malley’s only career loss came by TKO against Marlon Vera.
Logically, two fighters ranked right next to each other makes sense. Whether that’s what the UFC will do next is a different story altogether. Whatever the case, there’s no doubt that Simon has arrived as a major name in perhaps the deepest division in all of MMA.