The last of the local stars on the card is Jimmie Rivera, a Team Tiger Schulmann instructor with a legion of fans making the joint shudder, and his main card bout against Iuri Alcantara is next.
Round 1 opens with Rivera cognizant of the Brazilian’s dangers on the feet, something he seems to want to deal with by constant head movement and finishing every strike (including kicks) with about a half dozen punches designed to take Alcantara’s head off. It’s… an effective strategy, as Alcantara cops on pretty quickly that Rivera is out to hurt him and he better not make any mistakes.
The round ends with Alcantara landing a punch, Rivera scooping him up and dumping him down, and the Brazilian scrambling back upright.
Though a veteran, Alcantara appears to be having a little trouble trying to figure his foe out, and this is exacerbated by Rivera stalking him to the edge of the cage and cracking him hard in the fist with a knuckle sandwich early in Round 2. Alcantara gives it right back in the final minute, courtesy of a punch that puts Rivera on his butt, but the American scores with another takedown and peppers him with some leather – probably giving Rivera the round.
The offensive output of both men slows considerably in the third, but Rivera continues to hunt Alcantara like he’s wild game, stalking him, catching a kick and putting him on the canvas, and nailing him with a hard left. Alcantara blasts him with a punch of his own though, once more putting the American on his butt, and the horn sounds with Rivera flurrying hard.
The judges give Rivera the unanimous decision – and the crowd goes wild.