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Vancouver, Washington’s Ricky Simon to Fight For Titan UFC Bantamweight Title

Thursday, February 04, 2016

 

When you hold a title for Titan Fighting Championships (Titan FC), chances are you’re either on your way to signing with one of the big three MMA organizations or you have been with one already. Past Titan FC champions have competed in the UFC, Bellator, and World Series of Fighting in almost all cases. Now with Titan FC 37 just a month away, one of the Pacific Northwest’s most exciting prospects, Ricky Simon, gets his chance to take hold of the Titan FC bantamweight title.

Ricky Simon has been making progressive strides his entire professional career. Over a relatively short span of time (about two years as a pro), Simon has worked his way up the ranks aggressively. Having found his footing early on with Portland’s premier fight organization, Full Contact Fight Federation, Simon was quick to seek out greater challenges. He looked to King of the Cage to provide him his next step up in competition. Following a successful debut with King of the Cage, he quickly turned his sights on Tachi Palace Fights. Tachi Palace Fights has long been one of the top organizations for lower weight class fighters, and as a bantamweight, this was a great move for Simon. After a successful debut for Tachi Palace Fights Simon inked a deal with Titan FC. 

To say Titan FC was another step up in competition for Simon is an understatement. At the time of his signing, former UFC fighters Pat Healy, Tim Elliott, and Kurt Holobaugh all held titles for the promotion. However, as he has done with every test he has faced thus far in his professional career, Ricky Simon was victorious in his promotional debut. Now he sits at 7-0 and his next challenge could literally change his life. Titan FC has an exclusive deal with UFC Fight Pass and that means someone at the UFC offices will be watching. A dominant win could most certainly be his ticket to the big show. Maybe that’s a bit of wishful thinking but in some ways it seems like the type of stride that would make perfect sense for Simon.

At Titan FC 37, Simon will be going up against one time titleholder Brett Johns. Johns was scheduled to make his first defense of the Titan FC bantamweight title at Titan FC 34, but he failed to make weight and was subsequently stripped of the title. Now Johns will have to fight once more to regain his belt. In Johns, Simon will be facing an experienced, well-rounded fighter. At 12-0, Johns brings a good deal of international experience with him into the cage as he is based out of Swansea, Wales in the UK. Johns in mostly known for his wrestling but he has proven he posses a solid submission game with half of his wins having come by submission. The one place there seems to be the biggest difference between the two fighters is in the power department. Simon truly looks the part of a powerful wrestler getting off the bus. He has a strong frame and his time in the gym is evident. Additionally, Simon has proven he has fight-ending power in his hands. Johns, on the other hand, is slighter in his build and forces decision victories more often than TKO finishes. With both fighters having heavy bases in wrestling I would assume those advantages would cancel each other out and fans will be treated to a standup war. Either in the clinch or the center of the cage it makes perfect sense to me that these two will battle it out on the feet.  

Maybe this a bit of hometown bias, but I honestly believe that Ricky Simon will win this fight by TKO in round one. His power will not only help him impede the takedown attempts of Johns but will also force the former champ to fight defensively which should lead to a finish for the Vancouver, Washington resident. Ricky Simon is on his way to the top and to this point nothing has been able to slow him down. Now as he faces his stiffest test to date, Simon must be sure he has his feet firmly planted because what lies ahead could be the largest step up he has ever taken. 

GoLocalPDX partner Oregon Sports News: Since 2011, Oregon Sports News has provided entertaining, hard-hitting local sports news & commentary every weekday. To read more from this author, check out Oregon Sports News by clicking here.

 

Related Slideshow: Oregon’s Most Devastating Sports Injuries

Here is GoLocalPDX's list of Oregon's most devastating injuries that have occured within the past 10 years.

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Greg Oden

Sept. 2007 — Micro fracture surgery on right knee

Dec. 2009 — Fractured left patella 

Nov. 2010 — Micro fracture surgery on left knee

Dec. 2011 — Arthroscopic surgery on right knee

Unfortunately, Trail Blazer fans everywhere already know how drafting Greg Oden over Kevin Durant worked out for their team. After being be the #1 selection in the 2007 NBA Draft, Oden was never able to play a full season due to ongoing knee injuries. The team eventually waived him in March of 2012.

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Prev Next

Dennis Dixon

Nov. 2007 — Torn left ACL

During the 2007 season Dixon had the Oregon Ducks as the #2 team in the country. That was until he suffered a torn ACL against Arizona State and attempted to play on it the following week against Arizona. After Dixon went down for the season the Ducks lost their remaining two regular season games. Fortunately, they were able to end their season on a high note with a victory over South Florida in the 2007 Sun Bowl.

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Prev Next

Brandon Roy

Sept. 2008 — Cartilage removed from left knee

April 2010 — Meniscus tear in right knee

Jan. 2011 — Arthroscopic surgery on both knees

Brandon Roy is perhaps one of the most beloved Trail Blazers in the history of the franchise. After being drafted in 2006, and leading the team out of the "Jail-Blazer" era, he had to make the tough decision to retire at the young age of 28. His degenerative knees prevented Rip City from seeing their superstar ever play to his full potential.

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Jacquizz Rodgers

Nov. 2008 — Grade II separation of the acromioclavicular joint

During the second to last game in 2008 Jacquizz Rodgers suffered a separated shoulder that ended his season. Unfortunately, this meant that he wasn't able to play in the Civil War, which was perhaps the biggest game of the year for the Beavers. If the Beavers had been able to defeat the Ducks they would've been able to book their tickets to play in the Rose Bowl. Instead, they went to the Sun Bowl where they defeated the Pittsburgh Panthers.

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James Rodgers

Oct. 2009 — Torn left ACL

After participating in only 4 games during the 2009 season Rodgers went down with a torn ACL while playing against #9 Arizona. This couldn't have come at a worse time for Rodgers considering he was expected to have a breakout season. Rodgers, who was a senior at the time, was able to end his career at Oregon State as the career leader in all-purpose yards.

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Joel Pryzbilla

Dec. 2009 — Ruptured right patella tendon and dislocated patella

In December of 2009 the Trail Blazers' backup center, Joel Pryzbilla, was lost for the season with a ruptured and dislocated patella. This was a huge blow to the Trailblazers' frontcourt because they had already lost Oden for the season a few weeks before. Pryzbilla was also the team's defensive anchor who provided an inside presence. "The Vanilla Gorilla" was sorely missed for the rest of the year.

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LaMichael James

Oct. 2011 — Dislocated right elbow

The 2011 season couldn't have started any better for LaMichael James. After the first game James became Oregon's career rushing leader, surpassing Derek Loville. During the second game he rushed for over 200 yards against Missouri State. Unfortunately, James' year was slowed by a dislocated elbow suffered against Cal. Luckily for Duck fans he was able to return to end the season.

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Nate Costa

Nov. 2010 —Torn Right ACL

After suffering a multitude of knee injuries throughout his career at Oregon Costa was forced to officially retire from football after tearing his ACL for the third time in agame against Washington. Although Costa's career was hobbled by injuries many of his teammates looked to him as their leader. Oregon's coaching staff referred to Costa as the "heart and soul" of the 2010 team that won the Rose Bowl.

Photo via Addictedtoquack (image cropped)
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Sean Mannion

Oct. 2012 — Torn Left Meniscus

During the beginning of the 2012-2013 season, Sean Mannion was enjoying one of his best as a Beaver. Unfortunately, he tore his left meniscus against Washington State that resulted in him missing around half the season. With Mannion leading the way the Beavers had the Pac-12's fourth rated offense, averaging 459.5 yeards per game. With Mannion sidelined Cody Vaz became the starting quarterback

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Marcus Mariota

Oct. 2013 — Partial MCL Tear

Marcus Mariota is widely regarded as one of the greatest Oregon Duck quarterbacks to ever play at Autzen. Unfortunately a knee injury hobbled his sophomore season. After Mariota suffered a partial MCL tear against UCLA he conintued to play the remainder of the season. With Mariota's knee not allowing him to be as mobile as he was accustomed to teams were able to take advantage. In the weeks following the injury the Ducks suffered losses to Stanford and Arizona. Duck fans everywhere would like to know what that season woud've loked like if Mariota had stayed healthy.

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CJ McCollum

Oct. 2013 — Broken fifth Metatarsal In Left Foot

After being taken 10th overall during the 2013 NBA Draft the shooting guard out of Lehigh wasn't able to start his career the way many had hoped. After breaking the fifth metatarsal bone in his left foot the rookie wasn't able to take the court until January of 2014. Before the injury McCollum was in consideration for playing time behind Lillard. 

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Alex Morgan

Oct. 2013 — Stress reaction in talus bone

During the 2013 season Morgan suffered an injury that doctors misdiagnosed as a mildly sprained ankle. After a few additional tests were performed it turned out that Morgan had suffered a far more serious injury. She actually suffered a stress reaction in the talus bone that put her immediate future with Team USA in question. After rehabbing for 7 months Morgan was able to make a full recovery.

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Bralon Addison

April 2014 — Torn left ACL

After exceeding expectations as a freshman and sophomore at the University of Oregon Addison was expecting big things from his junior year. Unfortunately, Addison suffered a torn ACL during last year's spring practice that kept him sidelined the entire year. Without Addison in the lineup the receiving core never lived up to their full potential. If he had been able to play this season the National Championship may have wielded a different outcome.

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Prev Next

Ifo Ekpre-Olomu

Dec. 2014 — Torn ACL

In preparation for the first ever college football playoffs Ekpre-Olomu ended up tearing his ACL during a routine practice. This was a huge blow to the Ducks considering Ekpre-Olomu was one of the team's better defenders. He was also one of the best corners in the country who many analysists expected to be selected as high as the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft.

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Wesley Matthews

March 2015 — Torn left achilles

Just 2 months before Matthews suffered a torn achilles he had become the Trailblazers' all-time leader in 3-point field goals made. It looked as though the Trailblazers were poised to make a deep playoff run. Things took a drastic turn when Matthews was lost for the season. With the team in a 0-2 hole against the Memphis Grizzlies it doesn't look as though they will be making it to the second round of the playoffs this year.

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