Ricky Simon has been given a new opponent for UFC’s January 16th “Fight Night,” now being matched against Gaetano Pirello. The new matchup was first reported by Guilherme Cruz, Mike Heck and Steven Marrocco of MMA Fighting on Thursday.
The fight will take place on “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on UFC’s first show back since the new year.
Simon was originally set to face Brian Kelleher, although plans changed after Kelleher tested positive for COVID-19.
The fight will be Pirello’s first in the UFC. He enters the promotion with a record of 15 wins, five losses and one draw. He last competed in October of 2019, where he defeated Enzo Maria Iezzi on a regional card in Belgium.
Simon earned a win in his last fight, defeating Ray Borg back in May. His last two bookings, both against Kelleher, were cancelled due to COVID-19 related issues.
Here’s how UFC’s January 16th card looks with a new bout in the lineup.
Bout 14: Max Holloway (21-6) vs. Calvin Kattar (22-4) (Featherweight)
Bout 13: Omari Akhmedov (20-5-1) vs. Tom Breese (12-2) (Middleweight)
Bout 12: Santiago Ponzinibbio (27-3) vs. Li Jingliang (17-6) (Welterweight)
Bout 11: Joaquin Buckley (12-3) vs. Alessio Di Chirico (12-5) (Middleweight)
Bout 10: Carlos Condit (31-13) vs. Matt Brown (22-17) (Welterweight)
Bout 9: Justin Tafa (4-1) vs. Carlos Felipe (9-1) (Heavyweight)
Bout 8: Sarah Moras (6-6) vs. Vanessa Melo (10-8) (Bantamweight)
Bout 7: Jacob Kilburn (8-3) vs. Austin Lingo (7-1) (Featherweight)
Bout 6: Punahele Soriano (7-0) vs. Dusko Todorovic (10-0) (Middleweight)
Bout 5: Nik Lentz (30-11-2) vs. Mike Grundy (12-2) (Featherweight)
Bout 4: David Zawada (17-5) vs. Ramazan Emeev (19-4) (Welterweight)
Bout 3: Nassourdine Imavov (9-2) vs. Phil Hawes (9-2) (Middleweight)
Bout 2: Wu Yanan (11-3) vs. Joselyne Edwards (9-2) (Flyweight)
Bout 1: Ricky Simon (16-3) vs. Gaetano Pirello (15-5-1) (Bantamweight)