Following Simon’s second-round KO win over Raphael Assuncao earlier this month, the bantamweight contender and Bisping — now color commentator — discussed the finish. In addition, Bisping began to set Simon up for a callout, but first stated that Assuncao was the first ranked opponent that Simon had defeated.
Bisping was asked on a recent Q&A on his YouTube page about the conversation.
“He goes, ‘I’ve beaten ranked guys before,’” Bisping said. “I said, ‘Well, you definitely weren’t ranked,’ because he wasn’t ranked. He was trying to make me look silly. I’m literally relaying the information that I was told to say [by the producer].
“So how about you direct your venom at him and tell him not to be such a little sh*t,” Bisping told the viewer who asked the question.
On Tuesday, Simon was asked about Bisping’s response and he doesn’t understand why there was any negativity.
“Maybe he didn’t want to be corrected,” Simon told MMA Fighting. “I mean, is there a rule that I’m not allowed to correct him on-air or something? I don’t know if there is, maybe I should’ve said something after, but this is my life. This is what I put everything into. Everything that I do is to wake up in the morning and get better at this specific sport.
“And I have the receipts: I’ve fought a ranked guy before. I beat a ranked guy. I was ranked before. I just thought that I would clear that up.”
Sometimes things can get lost in translation — whether in a basic conversation, a text message, or even a post-victory interview — and one can get lost in thought wondering if they possibly overstepped any boundaries.
In Simon’s case, he’s coming off of the biggest win of his career and felt like he was still jovial in his correction. Until Bisping responded the way that he did, Simon didn’t feel like he did anything wrong — and still doesn’t.
“I felt it was a little awkward in the cage in that moment, but I was laughing about it. I wasn’t doing it maliciously,” Simon explained. “I wasn’t trying to make him look stupid. I was just correcting him with the facts.
“Even if I did feel like it was awkward, I didn’t feel in the wrong for it, honestly.”
With the win, Simon has now won four straight fights and is climbing the UFC rankings at 135-pounds. The 29-year-old began his octagon tenure with wins over Yahya, Montel Jackson, and Merab Dvalishvili before suffering a knockout loss to Urijah Faber at UFC Sacramento in July 2019.
While he got over the loss to Faber quickly, Simon is constantly asked about it, which is why his latest win over an established veteran name in the division was so big for him.
“I know what I’m capable of, but there was a little part of me that was like, ‘Damn, I can’t lose to another old guy,’” Simon said. “Everyone would know my kryptonite. If you’re 10 years older than me, it’s not going to go good.
“I feel like I’m used to the [Faber] question by now, but this is why I love this sport, anything can happen. I know what I signed up for. That’s what gets me out of bed and why I’m so excited to compete. I don’t know what’s gonna happen out there. I could have the best game plan ever and if you get hit with those four-ounce gloves, or kicked upside the head, it could change your night real quick.”