UFC 219 was supposed to feature a huge Bantamweight showdown between former champion, Dominick Cruz and rising contender, Jimmie “El Terror” Rivera. Rivera has won twenty straight fights(five in the UFC) and his most recent came over Thomas Almeida at UFC on Fox 25. Prior to that, he handed Urijah Faber the last loss of his legendary career and has been clamoring for a title shot ever since.
With Cruz forced out of the bout with a broken arm, Rivera is now set to take on John Lineker.
Rivera hasn’t been shy with his words and is loaded with confidence and rightfully so. The #4 ranked UFC Bantamweight recently spoke to MMA Latest’s Harry Davies and talked about the time he trained with the man he hopes to face after a potential win over Lineker, TJ Dillashaw. Similarly to Cody Garbrandt…Rivera also caught footage of his session with Dillashaw.
It was 3 or 4 years back. I think TJ had just lost to (John) Dodson on TUF. My teammate Louis Gaudinot was actually fighting Tim Elliott at the time, and we were in Milwaukee so I got to train with (Urijah) Faber and Dillashaw. I just sent it(the video) to TJ to say, don’t forget what happened. I was getting the best of him, and I don’t really brag about it. But he wants to leave the weight class and fight DJ for the money fight, and I want to fight for the belt, so it’s defend your belt or vacate.
When I become champ I won’t be like a TJ or McGregor, I’m going to be like Demetrious Johnson and defend my belt against people coming up, it’s the right thing to do. If you want to win the belt and leave the division straight away, it’s kind of bullshit.
The video of Rivera and Dillashaw can be seen below.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 12/14/2017