On the main card of UFC 203, Jimmie Rivera earned a unanimous decision win over Urijah Faber, becoming the first bantamweight to defeat the long-time contender in a three-round, non-title fight. The decision win goes down as the biggest of the 27-year-old prospect’s career, and is likely to have earned him a spot deep inside the bantamweight division’s top-10 rankings. Unfortunately, Rivera did not escape the encounter unscathed.
In the third round of the fight, the Puerto Rican fighter found himself on the receiving end of a nasty eye-poke, which forced a momentary break in the action. And though he was ultimately able to continue fighting to the final bell, Rivera has since revealed the extent of the damage caused by Faber’s eye-poke.
In an interview with MMAFighting.com, the rising bantamweight reported that he’d been told by a doctor that he has sustained “a crack behind his retina and a scratch on the white of his eye.” Rivera also explained that one doctor said he wasn’t sure when the vision would return to his injured eye. Nasty stuff, to say the least.
“I have no vision [in the eye] right now,” Rivera told MMA Fighting. “Everything is a blur. But at least I’m not in pain anymore. I was in so much pain last night, like someone was constantly pushing my eye ball in.”
“They gave me medicine for the pain [last night],” he added. “It didn’t do a damn thing.”
The good news, however, is that Rivera is scheduled to see an eye specialist when he returns to his native New Jersey on Monday. From there, it hopefully won’t be long before he’s able to return to training and turn his attention to his next challenge inside the Octagon.
Currently a fantastic 20-1 overall, Rivera is a perfect 4-0 since joining the UFC, having defeated Marcus Brimage, Pedro Munhoz, Iuri Alcantara, and now Faber. Provided his eye heals without issue, all signs point to his challenging for the bantamweight title sometime in the future.
Faber, meanwhile, now finds himself on the first two-fight losing streak of his long career. Regrettably, this is not the first time he’s caused damage with an eye-poke. Back in 2014, the veteran found himself in a bit of hot water for planting a fight-altering poke in the eye of bantamweight brawler Francisco Rivera.