After two attempts to pair Benito “Golden Boy” Lopez (9-0) and Ricky Simon (13-1) on the regional scene, their third contract to face one another, UFC 227 on August 4, 2018, will charm the MMA world with a true bantamweight contender waiting in the wings.
Initially, Lopez and Simon were set to meet at West Coast Fighting Championship (WFC) 19 to kickstart 2016 for the vacant 135-pound title. As soaring prospects from their respective regions—Simon out of Vancouver, Washington and Lopez representing Oroville, California—the once adorned in WFC’s hardware was expected to elevate their young career to the next platform. As an unfortunate stroke of bad luck would have it, WFC 19 was cancelled.
The matchup between Lopez and Simon returned to life when King of the Cage attempted to lock them in their cage on March 18, 2017. Once again, unfortunately, their paths never crossed.
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They could cancel the show but this fight was destined to happen. Come watch me and the Oroville boys defend our turf March 18th at @gold_country_casino! This will be my 7th professional fight and 15th overall. Thank you guys for showing me love since day ☝🏽 Let's get this W! 👊🏽 #OrovilleCa #TeamAlphaMale #ProtectTheHouse #DontBlink
Any hiccups stalling the collision course of Team Alpha Male’s Lopez and Gracie Barra Portland’s Simon didn’t halt either of their trajectories toward MMA’s elite—the UFC. Following Lopez’s first-round stoppage at KOTC: Flashback, he earned a slot on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series (DWTNCS), delivered an exhilarating performance against Steven Peterson, and punched his golden-ticket to become a member of the UFC’s roster. Simon also sought a similar application process, though his split-decision victory as a contestant on DWTNCS wasn’t enough; therefore, he circumvented the reality-show’s speed bump with a pair of success stories in Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA), compiling a win-streak of six-in-a-row.
Both of these up-and-coming bruisers have highlighted their ability inside the UFC’s Octagon; Lopez utilized an acrobatic display of knees and kicks to topple Albert Morales at UFC Fight Night 123, and Simon submitted Merab Dvalishvili at UFC Fight Night 128 with no time left on the clock. Now, they’ll finally fill opposing corners in Los Angeles’ Staples Center for UFC 227.
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‼️‼️Fight announcement!! Ask and you shall receive! I will be making my second walk to the @ufc octagon August 4th for #UFC227 at the Staples center in Los Angeles! I will be fighting @rickysimonufc a kid who’s been calling me out and running his mouth for years. August 4th you will get exactly what you asked for! #UFC227 #DontBlink #BonusHunting #TeamAlphaMale #ProtectTheHouse #530 #916