Ricky Simon is 29 years old and currently the #11 ranked bantamweight in the UFC. During his tenure with the promotion, Simon is 7-2. Jack “Tank” Shore, 27, is 16-0 as a professional and recently entered the bantamweight rankings at #14 following his decision win in his last fight.
Ricky Simon vs. Jack Shore is an upcoming bout on the UFC on ABC 3 early preliminary card this weekend.
Jack Shore opened as a slight favorite over Ricky Simon and has steadily grown throughout the week.
Simon is the epitome of an aggressive hard-nosed wrestle-boxer. Simon typically fights with a wide base, stalking forward, always primed to explode into a takedown. While striking, Simon swings big and lands heavy but can hit air more often than his opponent. As with many wrestle boxers, Simon’s aggressive striking is designed as a setup for his explosive and dominant wrestling. He will use the momentum of his looping power shots coupled with his opponent backing up on the straight line to avoid the big strike to create the perfect situation for a takedown attempt.
When Simon wrestles, which is often, he uses power single and double leg takedown attempts to almost spear his opponent to the mat. Simon averages 6.7 takedown attempts per fight and lands them more than 50% of the time. The few times Simon has struggled is when fighters have the high-level striking and footwork to stick’n move off the center line and keep the fight standing. Those situations are few and far between though, more often than not, Simon’s opponents have struggled to keep up with his high-octane and elite wrestle boxing style.
Shore had a fair amount of hype when entering the UFC, and yet, he’s still found ways to impress. On the feet, Shore has crisp boxing with solid pop. He often fights behind an intelligent jab, keeps a high volume, and lands at nearly a 60% clip. Shore has technical hands and fluid footwork, which help him to hit while not often getting hit in return. Similar to his opponent, Shore is an accredited wrestler. He averages just over four takedowns per fight at a 41% clip. Unlike Simon, who will shoot power double legs, Shore’s wrestling is more of a submission-focused attack. Shore will often clinch against the cage and look to transition to the back of his opponent.
He is skilled at dirty boxing and body positioning, so he can exploit even the smallest of openings, take the back, lock in a body triangle, and secure a choke. Shore 7 of Shore’s 16 wins have come from a rear-naked choke; once he gets the back, it’s only a matter of time. This young prospect has the makings of a highly-ranked fighter, but Simon is no joke. This is not going to be a fight you want to miss!
This fight should be incredibly high level, all action and fun. I’m anticipating the early minutes of the round to play out on the feet, with Shore landing more often and efficiently. Then, one of these two will likely go for a takedown. Regardless of who initiates the attempt, I like Shore to win the scrambles, keep the fight standing or reverse position. Both men are high level, so it will be close, but I’m siding with Shore to be a slight step ahead on the feet and on the mat.
Prediction: Jack Shore to win (-165 odds to win at MyBookie)
Michael Pounders is a high school English Teacher, a boxer himself, and is a fan who loves, gambles on, and nerds out about all things MMA.