Jimmie Rivera will finally end his long layoff on Friday night.
Rivera is set to face Howard Davis in the co-main event of BKFC 26. It will be his first fight since February of 2021 when he dropped a decision to Pedro Munhoz. For Rivera, he says it’s a big relief for him to finally fight, this after suffering two canceled bouts since leaving the UFC.
“It is a relief, I’ve been trying to fight forever. Triller fell through, and then my opponent fell out for my debut in May,” Rivera said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “The third time is the lucky charm, it feels good to finally get back in as I want to compete as much as I can.”
When Rivera ends his layoff, he will face the top contender at 145lbs in Howard Davis. His upcoming opponent possesses a lot of problems given he is 6’2″ and has a 77″ reach, compared to Rivera’s 68.5″ reach.
According to Rivera, he says he wanted the toughest fight and got it in Davis.
“I actually kind of knew it was going to be Howard Davis, I saw him at the fights in Orlando and was checking him out. It says he’s 6’2″ but I don’t know if he really is,” Rivera explained. “I’ve watched his fights, he’s a tough opponent, good reach, a smart fighter so I’m looking forward to it. It’s a tough fight, he’s the number one ranked guy at 145 so I’m not coming with some schmo, I’m fighting the real deal, unlike Chad Mendes who fought some rapper dude. I wish it was for the belt but I get it, it’s my debut I can’t fight for the belt right off the bat so I’ll earn my way there.”
Although Jimmie Rivera believes he is getting the toughest fight, he believes he has what it takes to finish Davis. He believes he’s the better technical striker but also hopes it turns into a brawl.
“I’m trying to get the finish. It could come down to a technical fight or be a stand-in-the-pocket brawl,” Rivera said. “It all depends on how Howard is going to fight, if he’s going to keep the distance and run, it will be a technical fight. If he is going to stand in the pocket and bang it will be a very exciting fight. It all depends on how Howard fights.”
Should Rivera get the stoppage win, he would likely be in prime position for the next title shot. However, Jimmie says the rest of this year is all about being active.
“After this one, I want to get two or three more fights whether it’s bare-knuckle or do an MMA fight. I want to get 3-4 fights a year, this year kind of got me in a slump, I was supposed to fight in February and in May, and now finally fighting in June. It got pushed back so much it was frustrating,” Rivera said.
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