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Jimmie Rivera has been kicking a lot of butt to get where he is – and where is he? Poised to enter the bantamweight division’s upper echelon of elite.

Wins over Urijah Faber and Thomas Almeida has Rivera getting matched up against former champ Dominick Cruz, and surely a win there would’ve meant a title shot. But Cruz was bitten by the injury bug, and now Rivera gets Brazilian slugger John Lineker.

Lineker is no where near as highly ranked as Cruz, but a he’s a good opponent.

Here’s the UFC’s official release:

An injury to Dominick Cruz has forced the former UFC bantamweight champion out of his UFC 219 bout against Jimmie Rivera on Dec. 30. Stepping in to meet the New Jersey standout in a 135-pound matchup at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas will be hard-hitting Brazilian contender John Lineker.

UFC 219 airs live on Pay-Per-View and tickets go on sale December 1. In a recently announced championship bout on the card, UFC women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg defends her crown against Holly Holm.