Ricky Simon: I fight more like Urijah Faber than Faber does now

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The cliche is old, worn out, but nevertheless unquestionably true - styles make fights.

Which is why when Urijah Faber decided to announce his comeback into the UFC’s bantamweight division, the matchmakers instantly started looking for the best style to see if “The California Kid” still has it. They landed on Ricky Simon, a 26-year-old former wrestler, who recently cracked the top 15 rankings. However, despite the age gap, Simon thinks he and Faber are not so different.

“I think there’s definitely some similarities in Urijah and myself,” Simon told The Top Turtle Podcast. “But I think I look more like Urijah Faber than Urijah Faber does at this point.”

Alluding to Faber being a shell of his own self, Simon pointed out what they do that is so alike, and more importantly what he can do now that he believes Faber cannot.

“We both have that pressure style - good wrestlers, explosive stand-up,” he said. “But I’m the younger fighter, I’m the more explosive fighter and I’m going to be stronger and faster in there. I’m going to use that to my advantage and I’m going to be one step ahead.”

Just because they are so alike, doesn’t mean that Simon is going to try to do anything different than what he’s done in the past. He feels that his skills force others to fight his game and try to keep up - something he believes nobody can do.

“I’m going to do what I always do,” Simon said confidently. “I’m going to pressure and I honestly feel like no one can keep up with me. We’ve seen it in a few fights now, and the more comfortable I get in there, the more dangerous I get in there.”

And he believes that the danger he brings can lead to doing something nobody has in over five years, finish Urijah Faber.

“I feel like end of the second or early third-round finish,” Simon predicted.

If he is able to finish Faber, he’ll be the first to do so since Renan Barao won by TKO for the title at UFC 169 early in 2014. Despite the clear difference in Faber’s career path at the present moment, that still would be a hell of a feather in the cap of Simon.

(2:30 mark)

Author Daniel Vreeland is a co-founder of the Top Turtle Podcast, and a brown belt in Jiu-Jitsu at New England Submission Fighting in Amherst, Massachusetts.