Jimmie Rivera is basically one fight away from gold, or at least that’s a good way to look at it. With a tidal wave of announcements last week, it was made official that Rivera will take on former bantamweight king Dominick Cruz at UFC 219. Fight fans sure are happy with the match-up, as well as Cruz’s return, but no one seems more pumped than Jimmie Rivera himself.
“F-ck yeah. I am super shocked. I think the biggest thing was they must’ve gave [Dominick Cruz] something good, or they told him that’s the only way. I don’t know. I heard that he wanted to take the fight, which I was super surprised. I’m just happy; I’m happy he took it so I can go in there and whoop some ass. I’m super stoked. It’s the fight that makes the most sense right now. I got a five-fight winning streak, I’ve beat the best. It’s time to fight the next person that’s the best so I can get a title shot.”
“Who else am I gonna’ fight? It’s either [Dominick] Cruz or a title shot. I’m willing to wait for that. I love fighting, but teaching is my first passion. So, if I have to wait, it doesn’t hurt my pocket at all. Cruz is not on a five-fight winning streak, he doesn’t have 20 wins in a row right now. I don’t know what could happen; anything could happen, that’s the craziest thing. What if they don’t pick Cruz, they pick me? What if TJ [Dillashaw] gets hurt and can’t fight? Maybe I fight [Cody] Garbrandt instead. What happens if Cody’s out, and he’s out for a longer period of time?” — Jimmie Rivera speaking to Bloody Elbow.
The rising contender is on a ridiculous 20-fight win streak overall, with his last five being in the UFC. Jimmie Rivera seems like he has a great mindset about the whole thing. Not just being involved in the biggest fight of his career, but being like water, my friend. In this game, anything and everything can happen. He could be next in line for a title shot if he can get past Cruz. If that doesn’t work, he can always fight Aljamain Sterling.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 9/30/2017.