Bantamweight contenders Jimmie Rivera and Marlon Moraes, who will fight on Friday night in the main event of UFC Utica, have had plenty to say about each other in the past. That being said, it sounds like their encounters have been quite friendly in the lead-up to their fight.
“I actually saw Marlon when we had to go back and just finalize some stuff with our contract,” Rivera said on the latest episode of BJPENN.COM Radio. “He was very cordial, very nice. It really comes down to his manager just being very disrespectful to myself and to my wife, really to my wife, when we were at UFC 218. I haven’t had to deal with him at all though. Marlon and I are just looking forward to the fight because this could bring the number-one-contender for a title shot.”
While Rivera says he and Moraes have been cordial in the build-up to their fight, that does not change the fact that they’ll attempt to pound each other into pulp when the cage door closes.
“Well yeah, we’re going in there, we want to beat the shit out of each other,” Rivera said. “Then it’s always respect afterwards.”
The intention for both men, of course, is to put on a performance that’s impressive enough to earn a bantamweight title shot.
“You’re never guaranteed anything, so you got to see how it plays out and how it goes,” Rivera said. “You know, [you’ve got to] kind of go from there. I think it’s really how the fight goes. To be honest, whether it’s a five-round, crazy fight, going non-stop, or if it’s a finish or submission, it really depends on the performance in a way. They want to put exciting fights on obviously, so I want to go out there and put on exciting fights for the fans and get that title shot.”
Who do you think will come out on top when Jimmie Rivera and Marlon Moraes fight this on Friday night?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/31/2018.