UFC 219’s Dominick Cruz Says Nobody Knows Jimmie Rivera

Dominick Cruz isn’t hating on Jimmie Rivera, but feels “El Terror” lacks popularity.

Cruz is set to meet Rivera inside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on the main card of UFC 219. The move came as a surprise to many as Cruz was hoping to wait for a title opportunity.

During a recent appearance on MMAFighting.com‘s “The MMA Hour,” Cruz explained why he’s fighting Rivera:

“What it comes down to is, I’m not the king of the bantamweight division. Cody’s not the king of the bantamweight division either. Sean Shelby is, and he makes these decisions on who fights who and he said, ‘If you don’t fight Jimmie Rivera, Jimmie Rivera and (Raphael) Assuncao will fight and they will get the title shot, not you.’ So he would’ve ended up giving me the loser of something, probably of Cody-TJ. So that being said, it’s just whatever it is.”

“The Dominator” doesn’t disregard Rivera’s skills, but believes “El Terror’s” notoriety is lacking.

“The guy can fight. I’ve never said he couldn’t fight. It was never a question of that. It’s a question of, who knows Jimmie Rivera? And who knows me, and who knows Cody, and who knows TJ? I mean, I’ve put the work in building these fights with Cody and TJ to get people watching, and then nobody knows Jimmie Rivera. So that’s not me being mean. He’s had great fights, but that’s why everybody’s shocked. They figured I’d get one of the names that I’ve been promoted with as a rematch.”