The UFC bantamweight division is ruled by three men, all of whom have worn the divisional belt in the last few years. One is TJ Dillashaw, the reigning champion. The second is former champion Dominick Cruz, who is the last man to defeat Dillashaw. The other is former champion Cody Garbrandt, who ended Cruz’s title reign, but had his own reign ended by Dillashaw. Given their ability and the way they match up with each other, it’s conceivable that Dillashaw, Cruz and Garbrandt could battle at the top of the bantamweight division for years, swapping the title every few fights.
Jimmie Rivera is hoping he can stop that from happening.
Rivera, who recently rebounded from a tough loss to Marlon Moraes with a solid decision defeat of John Dodson, is one of the bantamweight division’s top contenders. He’s now hoping to end the Dillashaw – Garbrandt – Cruz dynasty by teaming up with fellow contender Aljamain Sterling to take ’em all out.
Jimmie Rivera, of course, has not always seen eye to with Sterling. Yet he believes that, with Sterling’s help, they can cause a tectonic shift in the bantamweight rankings.
In Rivera’s mind, Aljamain Sterling can take care of Dominick Cruz, who he recently called out. Rivera himself, meanwhile, can take out Cody Garbrandt. Depending how these matchups shake out, they can then deal with Dillashaw.
“I hope to find out this week what’s next,” Jimmie Rivera said this week on BJPENN.COM Radio. “Some of the things Sterling said, he was kind of downgraded my fight with Dodson, but then he was saying some stuff that I did like. I do agree, if Sterling wants Cruz, I think Sterling should get Cruz and I get Cody or somebody like that. Let’s break up that trifecta going on where it’s always TJ, Cody, and Cruz.”
“I think that’s bullshit, let’s get in there some new people, and break it up, and let’s do it. I don’t think Cruz deserves a title shot. I think he needs to fight one time and get a win to get a title shot. Sterling wants to take that, and if Cody wants to get back in there, I’d like to fight him. That’d be a great fight. We’re kind of just enemies.”
Of course, Jimmie Rivera would happily fight Cruz himself if that’s what the UFC wants to make. The pair were booked to fight in the past to no avail, after all.
“If they call me this and they want me to fight Cruz on this day, I’d be like okay, sorry Sterling, but that’s it,” he said. “I wouldn’t deny that fight.”
Whatever the case, Jimmie Rivera is hoping to fight again soon — ideally before Christmas.
“Nothing right now,” he said. “Kind of just got to wait and see what they say at the UFC. I would love to get in there though, definitely before the end of the year.”
“Personally, [I’d like to fight] before Christmas so I can enjoy Christmas.”
Do you think Jimmie Rivera and Aljamain Sterling can end the dynasty of Dominick Cruz, TJ Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/27/2018.