Nothing was eloquent for the 26-year-old since his brush with the UFC in August 2017. Simon has been given a chance for a UFC contract on , however his split decision conquer Donavon Frelow wasn’t enough to convince the supervisor to offer him a bargain, so he wound up taking a handful of fights on the regional arena and catching the Legacy Fighting Alliance bantamweight title before getting the short-notice telephone to fight Merab Dvalishvili in UFC Atlantic City.

Both meet on the main card of UFC 234 on Saturday in Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia, and Simon has his eye on Yahya’s spot in the rankings.

“This really is the ideal opportunity to demonstrate that I’m one of the bantamweights on the planet,” Simon recently told MMA Fighting. “He’s a veteran, ” he ’so experienced, and we’r e onto the main card so that there & & rsquo;s gont be a lot of eyes and this is my opportunity to create a statement to really get things moving for me in 2019.

“I feel as though with a conquer Yahya, I & rsquo ranked at top 20, and begin also making my way and climbing that ladder. ”

In obtaining the Yahya fight, Simon not merely received a higher-ranked opponent than Ramos, but his management was also able to secure him a brand new four-year UFC contract once the plan was originally to finish his own prior bargain with the Ramos fight and negotiate from there.

Still, it stung to miss from this opportunity to match up with a fellow up and comer which Simon believed he was destined to fight after beating Jackson in UFC 227.

“” I was definitely super disappointed, because Ricardo and I honestly fought in UFC 227 on exactly the exact same card and then we sort of shared a moment backstage after both our fights, & rdquo . “We fist-bumped because we walked by each other and I felt like we were going to fight eachother down the line.

“It finished up nearly happening, however I thought it was going to be a great fight and a possibility for me to showcase my skills, however I feel every thing happens for a purpose, and also that fight got scrapped now I’m fighting a ranked competitor. So I could ’t even whine about this. ”

The forward-thinking Simon is always peaking at the rankings, attempting to work out who is next for himthough he’s not looking past the consistently reckless Yahya, a veteran of 3 6 fights who’s won seven of his past eight and his past three by entry.

However, it’so those credentials that have in what a triumph on Saturday can mean for him and his next reservation Simon stoked up.

“& I ’m consistently taking a look towards the 15 and what fight makes feel,”” Simon said. “I wasn’t even convinced if Alejandro Perez comes with a fight booked yet, this ’s a name that I ’m taking a look at. So I feel as this would be a wonderful fight, another means to climb up the ranks, ” he & rsquo; s there. The conflict of styles are amazing.