There are several compelling bouts scheduled for today’s UFC Fight Night 31 card at Kentucky’s Fort Campbell, and one of those is the bantamweight scrap between Francisco Rivera and George Roop. Not only is it an interesting fight because both guys are coming off impressive wins, but because watching the 6’1 tall Roop compete at 135 pounds is insane.
So, is the 5’9 tall Rivera concerned about the fact he’ll be taking on a man with a ton of reach and length on him? Well, while speaking to MMA Junkie.com recently about that very subject, here’s what “Cisco” had to say:
“I definitely have a few guys who are 6-1, 6-foot, and I’ve been training with taller guys all my life,” Rivera said.
“They’re not as fast at that weight, and they’re a little fragile at that height,” he said. “I just have to move around until he swings and misses and catch him off guard. If he doesn’t know how to use it right against someone who has speed and power, it’s going to be a bad night for him.”
That’s an interesting way of looking at it, and Rivera certainly has showcased plenty of stopping power throughout his career. Of his nine pro wins, six have come via TKO or knockout. Roop has scored wins over Reuben Duran and Brian Bowles now since making the drop to bantamweight, and if Rivera can defeat the vet, he will have won five of his last six bouts (his UFC 149 win over Roland Delorme was overturned after Rivera failed his post fight drug test). So what’s the plan if he wins?
“My fists aren’t enough, so I guess I have to start opening my mouth and calling guys out,” he said. “Hopefully they see that and look at all my fights and know I have all that power that most guys don’t have in the bantamweight division.”
“Fight for the Troops III” will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1 throughout the U.S. and will feature Tim Kennedy taking on Rafael Natal in the main event.
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