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Jimmie Rivera set to headline UFC’s trip to Utica v. Marlon Moraes

A win by either of these fighters could result in a shot for the Bantamweight Title

Fight fans, we got ourselves a good one here. After the UFC announced several bouts for their Fight Night card in Utica, it was believed that a main event wouldn’t be announced until later. It looks like there was a change of plans, as it was quickly announced that Jimmie Rivera will finally go one-on-one against Marlon Moraes. The Utica Observer-Dispatch was the first to announce the epic main event.

It will be a true clash of two highly-touted bantamweights. New Jersey’s Rivera (21-1) has won 20 in a row, his last loss being in 2008 against Jason McLean at Ring of Combat 22. The one time ROC Bantamweight Champion is 5-0 in the UFC. He last fought at UFC on Fox 25 inside the Nassau Coliseum in July, beating Thomas Almeida via unanimous decision. Rivera had a long time to prepare, as both potential fights against Dominick Cruz and John Lineker at UFC 219 were cancelled due to separate injuries by his opponents.

Rivera faces a tough opponent in Moraes (20-5-1), who is 15-1 in his career since 2011. He is currently on a two-fight win streak, defeating Aljamain Sterling at UFC Fight Night 123. If you recall, Moraes finished Sterling with a devastating knee to the temple. He has won nine fights via KO, while Rivera has only won four. Whether that plays a factor will make the fight very interesting.

The winner of this bout may be on his way to to face the UFC Bantamweight Champion next. Whether that will still be T.J. Dillashaw is up in the air. It will truly feel like a contendership fight, as both fighters have been at each other’s throats for months. They finally settle it all inside the octagon. It is certainly a clash of styles, one the UFC is eying to be a Fight of the Night contender. If they play their cards right, it could be a true battle to remember.

UFC Fight Night 131 will take place inside the Adirondack Bank Center on June 1. Tickets are expected to go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 6.

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Baseball Editor, Misc. Sports Editor. Covers all things combat sports (MMA, Pro Wrestling and Boxing). When he's not writing, Daniel hosts a podcast, The Main Event.
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