Ricky Simon recently fell two spots in the UFC's bantamweight rankings in a strange turn of events, as Frankie Edgar and Sean O'Malley moved up a place each. This was odd, to say the least, considering Edgar lost his last fight against 'Chito' Vera, and Sean O'Malley is coming off a No Contest against Pedro Munhoz.
Fans and fighters quickly note this strange change in the rankings, especially considering it happened right before Simon's upcoming fight. This Saturday, Ricky Simon faces undefeated prospect and former Cage Warriors bantamweight champion Jack Shore at UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs. Rodriguez. The 29-year-old American holds a 19-3 record and will look to make it 20 wins come fight night.
In an interview with Sportskeeda MMA's Andrew Whitelaw, Simon was asked about the seemingly strange turn of events. He minced no words in saying that there was some favoritism at play. The former LFA champion pointed out that he has faced more ranked opponents than some of his peers who are in the rankings:
"There's definitely some favoritism being played in the bantamweight division and not just with O'Malley. Who knows how the rankings work but I've beaten a few ranked opponents at this point - Merab [Dvalishvili], [Rafael] Assuncao, Rani Yahya, those guys were all ranked in. I've been floating in and out of the rankings.
Some of these guys have never beat a ranked opponent - [Sean] O'Malley, Jack [Shore], [Adrian] Yanez, Umar [Nurmagomedov] and they're in the rankings and I'm getting bumped down. Some of these guys are inactive, some of these guys are 1-4 in the last 5 fights and I'm getting bumped down. Whatever, though, I gotta produce and make it happen."
Watch our exclusive interview with Ricky Simon below:
Ricky Simon claims he accepted fight against Sean O'Malley in the past
During the same interview, Simon addressed his history with 'Sugar' and whether he sees a fight against him in the future. Sean O'Malley is arguably the biggest star in the bantamweight division despite being ranked outside the top ten and could be a big payday for whoever fights him next.
Speaking about a potential fight coming to fruition, Simon said:
"I doubt it. I don't know, man. I've been offered and I say yes to the same phone call and it's crickets for a while... When he was supposed to fight Louis Smolka and I had offered to fight [after Smolka withdrew due to a staph infection]... it was 9 days' notice or something like that.
I said 'yeah, I can fight you in 9 days, but it has to be at a catchweight at 145' because he even said on his podcast that he would do that and then it was all of a sudden I can't make weight..."
Simon stated that he believes Sean O'Malley is very talented, and they're both headed to the division's upper echelons. He recalled confronting O'Malley and asking if they'd ever fight, to which 'Sugar' replied that they could compete for a title someday. Ricky Simon noted, however, that he wasn't trying to bully O'Malley into a fight and was simply focused on moving up the division.