Rising star Jimmie Rivera will be taking on former World Series of Fighting can-crusher Marlon Moraes in the main event of UFC Fight Night 131 tomorrow night.
In August, bantamweight king TJ Dillashaw will be rematching with former champ Cody Garbrandt.
Rivera thinks Dillashaw is going to win, and that it will be him and Dillashaw fighting for the belt after that.
That’s… a pretty viable prediction. Moraes is no slouch, but Rivera has already taken out tougher versions of “badass Brazilian striker”, with Thomas Almeida scratched off of Rivera’s “to do” list. And we all saw what happened the last time Dillashaw and Garbrandt fought…
Anyway, here’s MMAJunkie:
“Every fight and MMA fan and fighter wants to see that fight (between Dillashaw and Johnson), but right now, I’m very happy that it’s Cody and T.J. fighting,” Rivera told reporters at a media day in support of his fight with Moraes on Friday at Adirondack Bank Center in Utica, N.Y. “So this way, it clears everything out, and this ends up looking like a No. 1 contender fight. So now the winner of this and the winner of that can go head to head.”
Whether the UFC agrees remains to be seen. Johnson could always come back into the picture, or the winner of Dillashaw vs. Garbrandt 2, set for August at UFC 227, could get injured.
But right now, it’s looking good for Rivera, who thinks he’ll face the current champ if everything goes as planned.
“I think T.J.’s going to win it,” Rivera said. “If I get this win and that title shot next, I don’t care who it is I fight, as long as it’s for the belt. That’s all that matters to me.”