“I hate losing,” Simon said flatly.
The result snapped an eight-fight winning streak for Simon, including a perfect 3-0 mark in the UFC. But the 27-year-old contender didn’t have time to wallow in self-pity. He had the small matter of a trip to Mexico to deal with.
“It was crazy getting to fight a Hall of Famer in his hometown,” Simon told MMA Junkie. “That crowd was nuts, and I got a little too excited out there and paid the price, so chalk it up to a learning experience. Right back in it.
“Obviously, I sulked for a day, but I went right on my honeymoon right after that. I had to cancel it for that fight, so I couldn’t spend too much time being sad when we were in Mexico, and I was enjoying time with my wife. … Extra couple checks would have been nice, but besides that, we had a great time.”
Still, Simon didn’t just forget about the result, either. He took the lessons learned with him to the gym, and he made it known that he wanted a chance to get back in the cage as quickly as possible.
“I didn’t want to sit on a loss for too long,” Simon said. “I was telling my manager (to get me a fight). I stayed in shape. I obviously enjoyed myself for a couple weeks after that, but I was ready to go. I made sure I was ready to go.”
Simon (15-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) gets his chance to get back to winning ways this weekend, when he meets Rob Font (16-4 MMA, 6-3 UFC) at Saturday’s UFC on ESPN 7, which takes airs live on ESPN from Capital One Arena.
While the global depth of the bantamweight division means both mean sit just outside the USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie bantamweight rankings, Font does reside at No. 10 in the UFC’s own rankings, so Simon welcomes the opportunity to compete against another respected opponent.
“I’ve been competing my entire life, but this isn’t my first loss, so I know how to bounce back,” Simon said. “I have short-term memory when it comes to that kind of thing. I know what I need to do to get this fight done.
“Obviously I’m pumped. I’m fighting the No. 10 guy in the world, so I’m extra-motivated and ready to go.”
Simon won’t have the option of shipping off on another honeymoon should things go south this time around. But he doesn’t believe he’s going to need it.
“I’m going to do what I do best, which is put the pace on him,” Simon said. That’s going to be the difference.”
To hear more from Simon, check out the video above.
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