Next up: Mexican bantamweight Erik Perez against American Francisco Rivera. In case you forgot, Perez is a crazy, unorthodox striker while Rivera is a meat-and-potatoes puncher who likes to knock people’s blocks off.
For the first two and a half minutes Perez is stiff as hell, and Rivera is counter-punching the crap out of him, tagging him at the end of everything Perez throws. He starts to loosen up a bit in the latter half of the round, utilizing a low-kick to halt his opponent’s advance in one exchange and tagging him with punches here and there, but it’s a close end.
Perez is hopping and moving all over the place in the second, emboldened by the fact that he was knocked out and more willing to throw some heat. Rivera, meanwhile, is constantly walking forward trying to throw hard leather – which misses nearly every time he fires first, but connects whenever he’s countering. But if they were even on the feet, Perez edges ahead with a takedown in the final ten seconds.
All caution and convention goes out the window in the opening of the third, with Perez and Rivera seeming to agree to duke it out and literally standing and banging like it’s they’re last five minutes on Earth. They tag each other again and again, and though Perez stumbles, Rivera actually falls, either from exhaustion or from getting wobbled. This is all within the first 3o seconds of the round, and for the next four minutes Perez is on top slowly, methodically pounding away. In the final 3o seconds they stand, and the wild punching that ensues is nothing like what happened just minutes prior.
Result: Erik Perez def. Francisco Rivera via Unanimous Decision