Surging UFC bantamweight contender Jimmie Rivera fought just once in 2017, but that’s not for lack of trying.
In January of 2017, he was supposed to fight Bryan Caraway, but was ultimately left without an opponent when Caraway withdrew with an injury. He then fought Thomas Almeida in July, winning by decision, and was rewarded with a number-one-contender scrap with former champ Dominick Cruz. Regrettably, Cruz was then forced out of the fight with an injury, and replaced by John Lineker, who also pulled out with an injury.
Of these three men, Rivera believes Lineker was only one with legitimate cause to withdraw from their fight. In his eyes, Cruz and Caraway are simply “pussies.”
“Honestly, Lineker, I think, yeah [he was injured],” Rivera said on the latest episode of BJ Penn Radio. “But I think Cruz… Cruz and Caraway are fuckin’ pussies.”
Rivera then explained that he’s dealt with some severe injuries of his own in recent months, but never let them force him out of a fight.
“I tore my MCL, beginning of November,” he said. “I rehabbed it for two weeks, you know what I mean, it wasn’t a huge tear that had to get surgery. It was a grade two tear, but I rehabbed it and got back, and I still took the the fight with fuckin’ Lineker. You know, I actually had the Cruz fight, and then [Cruz backed out] and I was like, ‘oh I don’t know…’ Then, you know, they gave me a better contract [to fight] Lineker, so we said, ‘fuck it, let’s do the fight. My knee’s feeling better anyways so let’s do it.’ But, there was a couple weeks that I had to slow down. I couldn’t go full force, because I was rehabbing my knee.”
“Obviously, now it’s back [to full health],” he said. “But still, people make excuses. People are weak. I mean, this generation coming up is really fuckin’ weak-minded.”
Jimmie Rivera will return to the cage on June 1, when he’s expected to take on former WSOF champ Marlon Moraes.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/29/2018.