The next UFC event comes to us this Friday, with UFC Fight Night 131 breaking more new ground in Upstate New York. Jimmie Rivera headlines, with the New Jersey native taking on Brazilian Marlon Moraes (who himself trains in New Jersey).
The entire card is just like any Fight Night – it’s meant to appeal to the locals, with maybe one match-up of significance at the top. And yes, what happens between Rivera and Moraes is significant.
In five trips to the Octagon, Rivera has yet to lose, and he’s defeated the likes of Urijah Faber and Thomas Almeida. If the timing was right, it’s not hard to imagine Rivera would have faced someone like Dominick Cruz already. Instead, he gets killer striker Moraes, who knocked out Aljamain Sterling in a little over a minute in his last fight.
If Rivera wins, there has to be a bantamweight title shot lurking somewhere down the road. If he loses… well, it’s back to the drawing board.
Can he counter-strike Moraes, and find the knockout if the Brazilian makes a mistake?
Ponder that question while watching Rivera in action below.