On June 1, when the UFC touches down in Utica, New York, streaking bantamweight contender Jimmie Rivera is expected to lock horns with former World Series of Fighting bantamweight champ Marlon Moraes.
The pair were briefly linked to a last-minute fight in December. Unfortunately, this plan fell through—but not before they engaged in some heated back-and-forths on social media.
As it turns out, Rivera doesn’t just take issue with Moraes. He’s also got a problem with Moraes’ manager, Ali Abdelaziz.
“I’m really happy for this fight,” Rivera said on the latest episode of BJ Penn Radio. “I was in Vegas, and his manager called my wife a bitch. So, I can’t wait to whoop this fuckin’ kid’s ass, and fuckin’ tell his manager off, and I don’t know what’s gonna happen. I mean, the UFC’s called and said we have to play nice while we do our media stuff. But, his manager’s a fuckin’ douche bag, and I’m gonna take it out on this kid.”
That’s not where Rivera’s criticisms of Abdelaziz ended, either. He believes the manager offered up Moraes to protect his preferred client, Cody Garbrandt, from Rivera.
“I think at the end of the day, Marlon’s manager is really not protecting Marlon,” he said. “He’s just protecting his golden boy which is Cody. So, I think Ali is just protecting his golden boy Cody, because he knows if I get to him, I’m gonna whoop his ass. So I think at the end of the day, you know, they just throw people around to try to derail me. And I like it. And I’m just gonna fuckin’ keep training harder to go in there and fuckin’ whoop some ass.”
Do you think Jimmie Rivera can keep his momentum going with a win over Marlon Moraes in Utica?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/30/2018.