Jimmie Rivera is looking for a fight, but he can’t seem to find a willing opponent.
As current UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw prepares to fight Henry Cejudo for the flyweight title at UFC 233, Rivera has been angling for a fight with former champion Cody Garbrandt.
In an interview with “Inside The Cage” on BJPenn.com, Rivera opened up on his struggles to convince the former champ to accept a fight with him.
After taking to Twitter to call out Garbrandt, Rivera said he was told that the former champion was hurt, but he questions the legitimacy of the injury.
“They told me Cody is supposedly hurt but you see him training, so I don’t know how hurt he could be. They said he’s not coming back till March.”
After Garbrandt’s two losses to TJ Dillashaw, Rivera says he no longer believes “No Love” is one of the best in the division, and says the former champ needs to get out of the way.
“Cody was the 7th ranked guy that got lucky and sucked somebody’s d**k or something like that and got a f**king shot,” he said. “He got a title shot. He ended up beating [Dominick] Cruz who can’t box and he became the champ.”
“He defended his belt and lost it right away to Dillashaw. Then he fought for it again and lost to TJ and they were quick finishes. So, I don’t think he’s one of the best fighters out there, I think he’s in the way and, him not wanting to fight till next year, I think he should lose his spot.”
There was also talk that Rivera would be getting Raphael Assuncao as his next opponent but following the conclusion of this interview, it was announced that Assuncao would be rematching Marlon Moraes in Brazil in February.
When contacted for comment about the Assuncao vs Moraes matchup, Rivera expressed more frustration with how things are playing out for his next fight.
“It sucks to be told you’re going to get to fight someone and receive a contract then all of a sudden, the UFC takes it away that quick.”
After missing the last two holiday seasons for his fighting career, Rivera went on to say that he wouldn’t campaign for a fight at the end of this year, and is hoping to get back into the Octagon in January or February.
“I’m kind of stuck in a weird position right now,” he said. “Either we just fight everyone on the roster, top-10, or we take a fight that’s going to help me the most for the belt. Just one of those situations where I have to sit down with my coaches and manager and figure out what’s next.”
With his sights set on an early 2019 return, Rivera says he plans on staying busy throughout the upcoming year.
“I would love to fight three or four times next year. it’s just hard right now because it’s like do i take a fight just to take a fight, or do i take fight that makes sense? those are the things i’m looking at.”
Although it has been frustrating for Jimmie Rivera to find his next opponent, his confidence hasn’t diminished at all. He’s ready for another big fight, and for the opportunity to catapult himself toward a UFC bantamweight title shot.
Who do you want to see him fight next?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 12/3/2018.