After a disappointing year on many levels in 2016, it has been a much better go around for bantamweight prospect Ricky Simon in 2017.
So far this year Simon has managed to pick up three wins in three bouts, rebounding off his lone fight in 2016 that saw him taste defeat for the first time.
“Last year I suffered my first loss and then couldn’t get a fight,” Simon told MMAWeekly.com. “Even though all three of those fights came short notice, I’m happy I got the opportunities that I got in there, and that I got to get in there and get those wins.”
In particular, Simon is coming off a win in what was up to that point his most exposure ever when he defeated Donavon Frelow at Dana White’s Contender Series 5 in August.
“It was a great opportunity that I couldn’t pass up on,” said Simon. “I was a little disappointed in my performance, but I talked to the UFC bosses afterwards and got some good feedback.
On Friday in Prior Lake, Minn., Simon (10-1) gets an opportunity to win his first major MMA title when he takes on veteran Chico Camus (18-7) in the 135-pound championship main event of LFA 29.
“I’m very excited to fight Chico,” Simon said. “I enjoyed watching him in the UFC. Even though he got cut, I still feel like he’s one of the top fighters in our weight class. I’m excited to show people I can beat someone like that.
“I think how I’m going to get it done is by pushing the pace, and hopefully I’ll break him. I think it’s going to be a high-paced fight, and that’s what’s going to get it done.”
Simon believes a win over Camus could put him in good positioning to make a move to the next level. But if it doesn’t happen immediately afterwards, he’s sure it will come sometime in 2018.
“I feel I’m in a good spot right now,” said Camus. “I signed a multi-fight deal with the LFA. I feel like with a win over the second UFC vet I’ve beaten, it will cerement my spot in the 135-pound division.
“I think it’s going to kind of put a stamp on things and show the UFC that I’m ready to fight for them. If that’s not the case, I’ll be happy to defend the belt and keep building a (winning) streak in 2018.”