EXCLUSIVE | TUF 16 Fighter Joey Rivera BJPENN.COM Blog #3
World Fighting Federation and CFFC Welterweight Champion Joey “Boom Boom” Rivera (7-1) is currently a competitor on this season of The Ultimate Fighter™ Team Carwin vs. Team Neslon, where he recently shocked the world by defeating Carwin’s #1 pick, Sam Alvey. Rivera resides in Tucson, AZ where he is the owner and head coach of APEX MMA. The 4X Judo State Champion also coaches wrestling at Flowing Wells High School in Tucson and instructs MMA at the University of Arizona (U of A).
Fans can follow Rivera on Facebook at www.facebook.com/JoeyBoomBoomRivera and on Twitter @Joeyboomboom.
Last week Igor and Nick fought; it was a tough fight and Nick held his own for being such a young fighter against Igor, a very skilled veteran. Nick, or “Alaska” as I called him, was my teammate. It was easier for me to remember that he was from Alaska than to remember his name at first, and his name stuck. It’s very common that I give nicknames to people because I always forget their names. It’s a funny thing I always have done. I got to train with him and he was pretty good, but he wasn’t a black-belt. I wasn’t sure how he would stand against Igor’s jiu-jitsu, but I knew he wouldn’t roll over and go without a fight.
Even though Igor was on the other team, he was one of my best friends in the house. He slept right next to me, so he was the first person I saw when I woke up and the last person I saw before I went to bed. We were really close. It’s pretty weird how you can develop such good friendships in that environment with people from different cultures and from around the world knowing you might have to fight each other.
Every night before we went to sleep, we would talk about everything. Igor was a very emotional guy; he cried a lot and always talked about his family and how he missed them. He was always asking me, “Do you miss your wife? Are you sad?” I would tell him I wasn’t, and he would say “No, I know you’re sad, you miss your wife. It’s okay, I am sad too.” We joke about it now and ask each other online “are you sad? Do you miss your wife?”