When MMANews.com’s Tim Thompson interviewed Jimmie Rivera earlier this month, the No. 6 ranked featherweight made it clear he is done fiddling around in the division. Rivera took aim at the current 135-pound champion Cody Garbrandt and Dominick Cruz.
A couple of weeks have gone by and Rivera’s tone has not changed. Speaking with Olimpio MMA, “El Terror” said he believes “No Love” is being protected from him:
“I think the best option is the Cruz (fight rather) than Marlon (Moraes), but it depends on what is guaranteed for the winner. If the winner between me and Marlon fights for the belt, I’ll take it. But I really do not think this will happen, not least because Ali (Abdel-Aziz, Marlon’s manager and Cody Garbrandt’s) is trying to hide his golden boy Cody from me because he knows I’m going to destroy him and get the belt.”
While Rivera wants his shot at gold soon, he’s really got his sights set on “The Dominator.” Cruz suffered his first loss since 2007 when he was bested by Garbrandt at UFC 207 in Las Vegas. Rivera wants to send Cruz packing from the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA).
“My focus is to fight Dominick Cruz to become the next challenger to the belt. He had better prepare himself, because I’m coming to finish his pride and retire him the same way I did with Urijah Faber. “
“El Terror” was supposed to meet Bryan Caraway at a UFC Fight Night event on Jan. 15 in Phoenix. Caraway was pulled from the bout with an injury. Rivera initially agreed to fight last minute replacement Marlon Vera. Instead, Rivera decided not to go through with the bout.
It’s clear that the Team Tiger Schulmann’s fighter is only targeting a number one contender’s bout, but will the UFC make that happen?