Tucson, Ariz. native Joey “Boom Boom” Rivera, 7-1 in his mixed martial arts career, defeated “Smile ‘N” Sam Alvey, 19-4, of Murieta, Calif. by a majority decision.
Rivera, a 32-year-old of Puerto Rican heritage, trains at his own gym in Tucson, which he opened in 2008. Prior to devoting his life to MMA, he spent time as an EMT driving an ambulance. The bilingual English and Spanish speaker couldn’t have been happier about his win.
He said: “I felt fantastic after this win. My dreams were finally becoming a reality! The fight was very nerve-racking because he was the number one guy, the first one to get picked. He was also the biggest guy in the house. I felt a lot of tension. It was the hardest fight of my life to that point because I didn’t know much about him and that definitely played a part in how I fought and felt.”
Alvey, 26, a self-processed Star Wars nerd engaged to “America’s Next Top Model” winner McKey Sullivan, suffered a surprise loss after being favored by UFC President Dana White to win the bout.
“Losing the fight was absolutely crippling. I was sadder after that loss then I have ever been before. Joey was one of the nicest guy’s in the house and if I had to lose to someone, I’m glad at least it was to him. But the force is strong in me, and I will bounce back 100 per cent better than I ever was.”
Results after episode three:
Team Carwin (1-1)
Sam Alvey (0-1, lost to Joey Rivera by decision in episode 3)
Neil Magny (1-0, defeated Cameron Diffley by decision in episode 2)
Team Nelson (1-1)
Cameron Diffley (0-1, lost to Neil Magny by decision in episode 2)
Joey Rivera (1-0, defeated Sam Alvey by decision in episode 3)