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Exclusive – Jimmie Rivera Believes He Has The Antidote For Dominick Cruz

Jim Edwards

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Slowly but surely, Jimmie Rivera is moving his way up the UFC bantamweight ladder. Having defeated Urijah Faber in his last outing in the Octagon at UFC 203 in September, Riviera now sits at #5 in the rankings with eyes set firmly on those above him.

Having had four weeks not to reflect on the biggest victory of his career, Riviera spoke to Jordan Killion and Sam Alvey on this week’s MMA Latest P4P Podcast about life since his big win, and he how he dealt with the horrendous eye poke that occurred during the third round.

“My eye is good now, it’s back to normal,” Riviera confirmed. “I got my vision back when I was backstage and then the rest of it, it just takes time. It just took some time to heal and regenerate but I’m feeling good.”

“The poke happened and I didn’t even know my eye was open when it happened. I was just like, is this going to go to a no contest. They were asking me how many fingers they were holding up and I was guessing numbers. I caught three first because I was looking out my left eye, and then I caught one when she held up two she said it was good enough and we continued to fight.

“It was just going through my head that if I stopped the fight it would’ve gone to the scorecards and I would’ve won anyway. I’m not one to start something and not finish it so I finished out the fight and did my best for those last three minutes.”

Having seen the fight through, and had his hand raised at the end of it, Riviera is now amongst the guys at the top of the division calling for a title shot. If Riviera had his way, no doubt he’d be the man to challenge for the belt.

“Dominick Cruz—he’s the champ,” Rivera said without a second of hesitation when asked who he wanted next. “No one has ever fought Cruz the right way. He’s one to talk smack, that’s just the way he is, that’s how he promotes his fight. He’s going to say ‘Oh you can hit me, I’m the least hit fighter in the UFC’, and all this stuff—but no one has fought him the right way.

“I’m never going to say what that is before—it’s a bit like Faber you know, I said I’m not just going to be able to fight Faber, but I said I’m going to be able to beat him. After the fight I was like, this is the game plan—I needed to take his front leg out, I thought he was going to wrestle me a lot and he didn’t at all, he only tried for two takedowns. The guy just didn’t know how to handle me at the end of the day.”

“With Cruz, it will be the same thing,” Riviera continued. “The best thing is I’ve had an unbelievable coach over the years and I know how to fight him. I can definitely beat him and I’m sure I can take that belt from him. I’m just waiting for the opportunity and I know I just have to wait my time and climb.”

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Interviews

Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”

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Derek Brunson fought Anderson Silva back in February of this year, at UFC 208. Brunson would go on to lose the fight by controversial unanimous decision. However, the controversies didn’t stop at the questionable decision, Brunson also claims Silva was greasing during the fight. The Wilmington, North Carolina native, posted about it on Twitter a few days ago:

Speaking with MMA Latest, Brunson explained why he believes Silva was greasing during the fight. “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up. Every time I grabbed him he was just slipping out of everything, and his takedown defense was really good that night. I was definitely curious to know why he was very slippery, which I definitely think he had some kind of substance on his body. He knows I’m a wrestler obviously, he’s an old, savvy veteran, so he was definitely trying to play all the rules and be very strategic, and make it harder for a wrestler to grab him.”

Brunson is set to face Lyoto Machida come October 28, when asked about whether he was worried about Machida greasing, considering Gegard Mousasi accused him of doing so in their fight, Brunson admitted he wasn’t too worried.

Well I’m not too worried, but like I said, I put it out there because I know they’re friends and I know, obviously, that’s kind of what the guys do when they know they’re fighting a wrestler. They want to lube their body up really good to make it hard to grab hold, Anderson did a great job defending my takedowns. It’s because he was all greased up so he was able to stop a lot of them. When I grab guys in the clinch, it’s very tough for them to get away and I’m pretty good with my Greco takedown. He was pretty much pulling through my clinch when I had a tight grip on him and if you have some kind of substance on your body it’s easy to pull them.”

Neither Silva nor his management have commented on the greasing allegations. Anderson Silva makes his return against Kelvin Gastelum later this year, in China. While Brunson makes his return to the Octagon on October 28th, in Brazil, where he looks to add Lyoto Machida’s name to his impressive list of victories.

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Announcement

Ovince Saint Preux Steps in to Face Corey Anderson at UFC 217

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UFC 217 just got even more interesting. Earlier this week, Patrick Cummins pulled out of his light heavyweight matchup with Corey Anderson due to a Staph infection. Corey “Overtime” Anderson was not happy with his opponents decision, even calling out his opponent on Instagram asking how Cummins could, “call it quits so far from fight night”.

The UFC left Anderson on the card, and he found an opponent through the magic of Twitter. Ovince Saint Preux tweeted out directly to Anderson stating:

It didn’t take long for Anderson to respond agreeing to the fight, tagging Mick Maynard and Dana White in his response.

Only a few short hours later, the fight announcement came from the official UFC twitter account.

 

This top 10 Light Heavyweight matchup should add to an already amazing card coming in November at Madison Square Garden. Saint Preux is coming off of back to back wins both due to the very rare von flue choke, he finds himself ranked #7th in the latest edition of the 205-pound rankings. Corey “Overtime” Anderson is 4-2 in his last 6 fights, but is coming off a brutal first round knockout loss to Jimi Manuwa in March.

With such a exciting fight added to this card, what do you see happening November 4th?  Will Corey Anderson bounce back and look to jump into the top 5 of the rankings, or will Ovince Saint Preux go for a third straight von flue choke? Let us know.

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Announcement

*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results

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Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.

Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.

Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)

Main Card:

Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)

Preliminary Card:

Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)

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