Ricky Simon and Brian Kelleher faced off in a Bantamweight clash tonight (Sat., Feb. 13, 2021) inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada at UFC 258. In a strong showing, Simon’s wrestling was just too much.
Kelleher began the bout with a solid low kick. Simon timed a double leg beautifully and gained top position. Kelleher regained his feet quickly, but he was bleeding freely just a minute into the fight. Simon put him back on the mat. Simon attempted an arm triangle, Kelleher avoided the choke. Kelleher scrambled back up with just over two minutes remaining in the round. Good low kick from Kelleher, but he’s easily taken back down. Again, Simon countered a guillotine attempt with an arm triangle, but he wasn’t able to finish. Back on their feet, Kelleher returned to the low kick. Clean right hand from Simon scored. Kelleher landed a nice power shot of his own before the bell.
Simon ripped the liver early in the second then stuck a jab. Hard front kick to the chin from Kelleher! Kelleher scored with a check hook, but both men were really taking their turns hitting each other. Another hard front kick from Kelleher, but Simon converted it into a brief takedown. Kelleher seemed to have found his range, but Simon was still throwing a bit more. Simon powered through another double leg into top position. Kelleher freed himself with a minute remaining, only to eat a heavy right hand.
Kicks from Simon started the final frame, and Kelleher answered with a nice jab. Simon landed a cool upward elbow to low kick combination, then ducked into a solid clinch entry moments later. Simon scored a double leg takedown along the fence. The two traded kimura attempts, and Kelleher regained his footing. Simon ripped an elbow then dragged his foe back to the mat. Kelleher didn’t stop trying to escape his foe’s grasp, but Simon was extremely sticky. Kelleher finally wiggled free and landed a couple strikes before the bell.
Simon pretty thoroughly controlled this contest. It was not dramatic at any point, but Simon added a solid win to his resume.
Result: Ricky Simon defeats Brian Kelleher via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
For complete UFC 258: “Usman vs. Burns” results and play-by-play, click HERE!