UFC Vegas 84 Preview: Ricky Simon – Mario Bautista

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Long Island - Simon vs Shore
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Tomorrow night on the main card of UFC Vegas 84, we are going to see a banger in the bantamweight division. Ricky Simon (20-4) will be looking to defend his spot in the rankings as he takes on the surging Mario Bautista (13-2).

Mario Bautista was thrown into the fire in his UFC debut when he was 6-0 as he took on Cory Sandhagen. Bautista was submitted in the first round. In his first four fights inside the octagon, Bautista was just 2-2. However, since then, he’s gone a perfect 5-0 which has him knocking on the door of the rankings. Most recently, he had a decision win over Da’Mon Blackshear at UFC 292 in August.

Ricky Simon entered 2023 on a five-fight winning streak and looked primed to make a run into the top ten and towards title contention. The UFC booked him a fight against Song Yadong and it was originally supposed to be a three-round fight. However, due to some cancellations, it was shifted to a short-notice five-round main event.

In that fight, Simon just couldn’t get anything going against Song and ultimately was stopped in the fifth round. That fight was back in April and we haven’t seen Simon since. That loss snapped his winning streak and Simon is motivated to get back on track at UFC Vegas 84.

UFC Vegas 84 Prediction

To me, this fight is going to come down to who is coming forward. Mario Bautista is the more dangerous fighter in terms of his finishing ability. However, he doesn’t fight that well moving backwards. On the flip side, Ricky Simon is the type of guy who thrives over using pressure, volume, and mixing in his wrestling.

This is going to be a battle of who is controlling the octagon and moving forward. If Bautista is, I think you’ll see his power and range frustrate Simon which will result in a decision win or a finish. However, in my personal opinion, I think that Simon is going to be the one controlling things tomorrow night.

I just see his speed and relentless pressure frustrating Bautista. I don’t think he’s going to give Bautista the range he needs to be successful at UFC Vegas 84. Over three rounds, I expect Simon to land more and get some takedowns with quality control time ultimately leading to a decision win.

Prediction: Ricky Simon by Decision