Jimmie Rivera
El Terror
Suspended 180 days after Phoenix loss
February 20, 2019
Rivera has been suspended 180 days pending medical clearance by the Arizona State Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts Commission, MMAFighting.com reports.
Rivera lost the striking battle badly in this one, as Sterling dealt him a balanced attack of 36 significant strikes to the head, 39 to the body and 26 to the legs. While no specific injury was disclosed, the bantamweight contender will now be sidelined until a physician gives him the OK to return to competition. Rivera is now 1-2 in his last three fights after starting off with five-straight UFC wins.
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Struggle to solve Aljamain Sterling
February 17, 2019
Rivera lost to Aljamain Sterling via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) at UFC on ESPN 1 on Sunday in Phoenix.
Rivera was really thrown off by Sterling's unique style. The kicking attacks really gave Rivera a lot of trouble. He could not close the distance to land his strikes. He spent most of the fight trying to track Sterling around the cage and defending takedowns. While Sterling came into this fight with a solid gameplan, Rivera looked like he was not sure how to get to his offense. He began his career with a 21-1 record, but he has now lost two of his last three fights in the UFC.
Draws Aljamain Sterling in Phoenix
December 13, 2018
Rivera will take on Aljamain Sterling in a bantamweight matchup at UFC Phoenix on Feb. 17.
Rivera had been cruising to a title shot before a Marlon Moraes head kick abruptly ended those hopes back in June. He bounced back quickly with a victory over John Dodson in September, and will keep his pace high with a matchup against Sterling in early-2019. Sterling also has a stoppage loss to Moraes on his resume, and has been a bit let consistent throughout his UFC tenure. Both men are high-volume strikers with positive striking differentials, which makes this a pretty fantasy-friendly matchup on paper. Sterling does have a wrestling aspect to his game, but may not be able to use it given the fact that Rivera has never been taken down in seven UFC fights.
Gets back on track with a victory over former title challenger at UFC 228
September 8, 2018
Rivera defeated John Dodson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) at UFC 228 on Saturday in Dallas.
In a night full of exciting fights, this one was a bit of a let down. Rivera showed off slick boxing and a lead leg kick. That was enough to take the decision over Dodson. As per usual, Dodson was on his bicycle and sticking to the outside. However, he was rarely able to enter the range, because Rivera was controlling the distance with his kicks and feints. As previously mentioned, this was not the most exciting fight, but Rivera needed the win to get back on track. He picked up the win and now moves forward.
Looks to rebound against John Dodson
June 17, 2018
Rivera will take on John Dodson in a bantamweight matchup at UFC 228 on Sept. 8, MMAFighting.com reports.
Rivera was quickly stifled by Marlon Moraes in a matchup of top contenders at UFC Utica, as he fell victim to a knockout via head kick just 33 seconds into the fight. That sudden defeat snapped a 20-fight winning streak and resulted in a 90-day medical suspension, but Rivera has no intentions in an extended layoff. Instead, he'll square off against Dodson, a former flyweight title contender that is 3-3 in his last six bouts. Rivera has slight height and reach advantages, in addition to a bit more experience in the 135-pound division. Both competitors sport respectable takedown defense marks (100 percent for Rivera), while each own a positive striking differential in a fight that should be very close in the sportsbooks.
Issued medical suspension
June 6, 2018
Rivera was issued a 90-day medical suspension following his UFC Utica loss to Marlon Moraes, MMAFighting.com reports.
No fighters on the card were issued 180-day suspensions, but both Rivera and heavyweight Daniel Spitz will be dealt 90 days by the state of New York. Rivera only absorbed seven significant strikes in the contest, but not all significant strikes are created equally. He was stifled early by a brutal head kick, which led to a fight-ending sequence that was finished just 33 seconds into the matchup. There's no doubt Rivera is a top-10 bantamweight, and at just 28 years old, has plenty of room to grow following this tough break. However, he seems unlikely to get his shot at redemption until this fall at the earliest, though Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports he's looking for a quick turnaround.