Brian Kelleher


Routed by Ricky Simon
February 13, 2021
Kelleher lost to Ricky Simon via unanimous decision (27-30, 27-30, 27-30) at UFC 258 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
Kelleher was gifted a main card opportunity on a pay-per-view following the cancellation of the Bobby Green vs. Jim Miller bout and blew it. Kelleher battled COVID-19 last month so perhaps that had something to do with his poor performance, but the fact he wasn't the least bit competitive against Simon was highly concerning. Simon easily scored takedowns, and when that wasn't enough, he beat up Kelleher on the feet. 11 fights into his UFC run, Kelleher is barely over .500 at 6-5. He has traditionally handled lesser competition and really struggled against better fighters. Saturday was a perfect example of that. Now 34 years of age, Kelleher has settled in as nothing more than valuable roster depth.
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Simon fight scheduled again
January 28, 2021
Kelleher is scheduled face Ricky Simon in featherweight fight at UFC 258 on Feb. 13, Marcel Dorff of reports.
The UFC will be hoping that the third time's the charm with this matchup. The pair were initially set to square off in September before Simon tested positive for COVID-19, while a positive test for Kelleher canceled the second attempt at booking this fight in January. Simon will be looking for his third straight win, while Kelleher be looking to follow up a dominant performance in his last trip to the Octagon, when he submitted Ray Rodriguez in just 39 seconds in September.
Tests positive for COVID-19
January 2, 2021
Kelleher tested positive for COVID-19 and won't face Ricky Simon on Jan. 16, reports.
Kelleher isn't experiencing any symptoms and hopes that his result is a false positive, but he'll be removed from the card as a precautionary measure. The fight between him and Simon was also delayed from a September date after Simon tested positive for COVID-19. It's not yet clear whether the promotion will find a new opponent for Simon on short notice or whether the fight will be delayed again.
Taking on Ricky Simon
October 9, 2020
Kelleher is expected to take on Ricky Simon on Jan. 16, reports.
The fight has been verbally agreed on, though the contracts have not yet been signed, and the event itself doesn't yet have a location. Kelleher has had mixed results over his last six fights, winning three and losing three, though he's at least coming off a win and a dominant one at that, as he needed only 39 seconds to submit Ray Rodriguez in September. Simon, whom he was set to face in September before Simon tested positive for COVID-19, also bounced back from a pair of losses with a win in his last fight, winning a split decision over Ray Borg back in May.
Considering free agency
September 14, 2020
Kelleher's next fight will be the last on his UFC contract, Alexander K. Lee of reports.
Kelleher has remained active throughout the pandemic, registering four fights in 2020 and going 3-1 in that span. An extension with the UFC remains on the table, but he also appears willing to roll the dice prior to his final fight in hopes of a big pay day. The 34-year-old is unranked in the UFC's bantamweight division.
Snatches guillotine in a blink
September 5, 2020
Kelleher defeated Ray Rodriguez via submission (Guillotine choke) at 0:39 seconds of Round 1 at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Las Vegas.
There isn't much to say about this fight, as the two spent a few moments sizing each other up before Rodriguez shot for a takedown. It looked like he was okay initially, but Kelleher wrapped the choke with lightning speed, getting the tap a few seconds later. Kelleher was coming off a tough loss in a late-notice fight against Cody Stamann in his last bout, so it's got to feel good to get a quick one under his belt. Ultimately, we don't learn anything new about the 33-fight veteran, as he remains a nice, fluid out-fighter with devastating chokes. He improves to 22-11 in professional MMA as a result of the victory.