The brewing rivalry between former Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series contestants is now officially set to unfold in the Octagon.
After each Ricky Simon and Benito Lopez made their voices be heard that they wanted to fight one another for their sophomore UFC appearances, it seemed like logical matchmaking. And the UFC thought so too.
Initially reported by the LA Times’ Lance Pugmire, BJPenn.com’s Drake Riggs can confirm that the fight is officially on for August 4th.
— Lance Pugmire (@pugboxing) June 8, 2018
Bantamweight fight between Benito Lopez and Ricky Simon added to Aug. 4 @TJDillashaw @Cody_Nolove card @STAPLESCenter
— Drake Riggs (@DrakeRiggs_) June 8, 2018
As mentioned, both Lopez and Simon fought on the Contender Series prior to beginning their UFC careers. The only difference being that Lopez was given a UFC contract after his win whereas Simon was not.
Simon would go on to win and defend the LFA bantamweight crown after that before finally getting his big break when he defeated Merab Dvalishvili at UFC Atlantic City by last-second submission in the fight of the night.
Lopez made his UFC debut back in December when he defeated Albert Morales by unanimous decision to extend his undefeated record to 9-0.
After Simon’s big debut victory, he has made it clear who he wanted next and that was ‘The Golden Boy’.
“Benito’s from California. I love beatin’ guys up from California. I’ve done it a few times.” Simon told BJPenn.com in a recent interview, “So he’s next. We were supposed to fight a few times already and some way somehow or another he found a way to weasel out of the fight. So it’s time now that we both made it to the big show. There’s nowhere else to run. Maybe he was being strategic, maybe he was being smart. He was undefeated, like hey cool…but now we’re here. Let’s get paid. Let’s fight.”
With Demetrious Johnson vs Henry Cejudo 2 in the works for the co-main event, the rest of UFC 227 currently looks like this:
Bantamweight – 135lbs: (C)TJ Dillashaw vs. Cody Garbrandt
Strawweight – 115lbs: Polyana Viana vs. JJ Aldrich
Bantamweight: Ricardo Ramos vs. Kyung Ho Kang
Bantamweight: Wuliji Buren vs. Bharat Khandare
Bantamweight: Bethe Correia vs. Irene Aldana
Featherweight – 145lbs: Cub Swanson vs. Renato Moicano
Middleweight – 185lbs: Derek Brunson vs. Antônio Carlos Júnior
Strawweight: Danielle Taylor vs. Weili Zhang
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/8/2018.This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM