This is the Ricky Simon we missed in the lead-up to UFC Jacksonville, as he went underground to focus solely on snapping a two-fight losing skid and nothing else. No media, no distractions, nothing to take him out of his single-minded approach to winning that fight with Borg.

“I’ve never been on a two-fight skid like that and I just knew the questions were gonna be like, ‘Coming off of two losses…’” he said. “And I felt so strong mentally and I knew I was doing the right things. I just needed to focus on training and have my confidence in what I’m doing and I just didn’t want to have to keep answering, ‘Oh, well this is why I’m losing.’ Yeah, the pressure’s there, but I just wanted to stay mentally strong and make it to the fight and do what I do.”

One might say Simon was being too hard on himself, especially since he got caught cold and stopped by UFC Hall of Famer Urijah Faber last July, then lost a Fight of the Night decision to Rob Font in December. Not the worst two-fight losing streak you’ve ever seen, but Simon went through it knowing he was not that guy to accept those defeats.

“That’s exactly how I felt,” he said. “I know losses are inevitable, especially in this sport where there are so many variables. But it just irks me to my core. Even just thinking about them, I want them back. And I want to put myself in a position to get them back. I just want to get better and keep improving and I think adding coach Colin Oyama to the camp over the last little bit and having him help fine-tune some things in my overall MMA approach was important. And there’s my coach Fabiano Scherner reassuring me that I’m doing everything that I can, and his confidence in me keeps me mentally strong.”