On Friday night, the UFC touched down in Utica, New York with an exciting night of fights. In the main event, streaking bantamweight contenders Jimmie Rivera and Marlon Moraes collided in a fight that was widely expected to produce the division’s next title challenger.
Unfortunately for Rivera and his fans, this one went to Moraes — and decisively so. Just 33 seconds into the first round, Moraes ended things with a crushing head-kick KO.
Post-fight, there is apparently no bad blood between Rivera and Moraes. There is, however, some lingering tension between Rivera and Moraes’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz.
In a moment captured by Fox Sports, Rivera appeared to have a brief verbal altercation with his foe’s manager.
Shortly thereafter, Rivera explained the issue.
“There’s no tension between him [Moraes] and I. There’s no tension with the camps,” Rivera said on FS1 (transcribed by Tristen Chritchfield for for Sherdog). “It’s just his management. His manager keeps running his mouth. It is what it is. We let it go.”
This is not the first time Rivera has voiced his issues with Abdelaziz. Speaking on a recent episode of BJPENN.COM Radio, Rivera said that he hoped to punish Moraes for comments made by his manager.
“I’m really happy for this fight,” Rivera said. “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.”
While there was clearly some tension between Jimmie Rivera and Ali Abdelaziz, Rivera says he has let it ago, while Abdelaziz took to Twitter to assure he has nothing but respect for the fighter.
Nothing but respect for Jimmy Rivera and his family. Without a doubt one of the best fighters in the world. Keep your head up champ. You’ll be back stronger.
— Ali Abdelaziz (@AliAbdelaziz00) June 2, 2018
“Nothing but respect for Jimmie Rivera and his family,” Abdelaziz said. “Without a doubt one of the best fighters in the world. Keep your head up champ. You’ll be back stronger.”
What do you make of the situation between Ali Abdelaziz and Jimmie Rivera?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/3/2018.