Irwin Rivera
The Beast


Falls to Andre Ewell
September 19, 2020
Rivera lost to Andre Ewell via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 28-29) at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Las Vegas.
It's not a particularly positive sign for the rest of the evening that this fight went to a split decision. Rivera showed plenty of toughness and was never in a ton of trouble throughout the course of the bout, but he also clearly lost. The hand speed of Ewell was simply too much for Rivera to overcome. The 31-year-old New York native has now alternated wins and losses through his first three UFC fights.
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Next fight on books
August 21, 2020
Rivera (hand) is scheduled to square off against Andre Ewell in a bantamweight matchup at UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas on Sept. 19, Aaron Bronsteter of reports.
Despite emerging with his first career UFC win in mid-August, Rivera was given a 180-day medical suspension following his clash with Ali Qaisi with a potential right hand injury. He's obviously been cleared of any lingering concerns and will now prepare for a fight versus an opponent in Ewell who sports a massive seven-inch reach advantage to go along with two inches of height. Given that Ewell wants to stay upright, Rivera may need to look for an opportunity to get in some takedowns if he wants to keep on a winning track. While it's been better of late, Ewell sports just a 66 percent takedown defense after he was taken down seven times in his first three fights.
180-day medical suspension
August 12, 2020
Rivera received a 180-day medical suspension after defeating Ali Qaisi last Saturday, reports.
Rivera was able to get by via split decision. He must get an x-ray of his right hand and wrist and if positive must have an orthopedic doctor clear him. Rivera also had a possible left eye corneal abrasion. If unable to get cleared, Rivera will have to sit out until February 5, 2021.
Gets by debuting fighter
August 9, 2020
Rivera defeated Ali Qaisi via split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29) at UFC on ESPN+ 32 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
Rivera was a bit overmatched in his UFC debut in a short-notice fight against a much larger fighter in Giga Chikadze, but he was back at his natural weight class of bantamweight in this one. He ended up cashing the ticket as roughly a (-170) betting favorite, but it wasn't one that came easy. Rivera was outlanded in terms of significant strikes in each of the three rounds and ended up with a total of 36 (compared to Qaisi's 44). Both men secured two takedowns in the fight as well. Rivera ended up with the seemingly more damaging shots, however, which was enough to get the nod from the judges. Nonetheless, those who rostered him daily formats will likely be unhappy with the overall score.
Draws newcomer for August fight
July 29, 2020
Rivera (undisclosed) is scheduled to face Ali Alqaisi in a bantamweight fight Aug. 8 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Farah Hannoun of USA Today reports.
Rivera will step back into the Octagon after he was dealt a medical suspension in the aftermath of his unanimous-decision loss to Giga Chikadze at the UFC event in Jacksonville on May 16. Now healthy again, Rivera will take on a UFC newcomer in Alqaisi, who sports a career 8-3-0 MMA record.
Handed six-month suspension
May 18, 2020
Rivera has been given a six-month medical suspension following his loss to Giga Chikadze via unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night in Jacksonville, Damon Martin of reports.
Rivera wasn't competitive in his UFC debut, but it's worth noting that the deck was stacked against him. He was given just 48 hours' notice as a replacement fighter, facing a massive six-inch height disadvantage, and tasked with debuting at featherweight rather than his usual bantamweight. The 31-year-old will look to log a stronger performance during his second showing, though he'll have to wait up to six months to re-enter the Octagon, unless he's cleared earlier by a physician.