Jimmie Rivera vs. Marlon Vera in the works for UFC 247
The bantamweight matchup between Rivera (22-4 MMA, 6-3 UFC) and Vera (15-5-1 MMA, 9-4 UFC) is targeted for UFC 247 on Feb. 8 in Houston, two people with knowledge of the situation informed MMA Junkie. The people asked to remain anonymous because the promotion has yet to make an announcement.
In January 2017, Vera was briefly linked to a fight against Rivera at UFC Fight Night 103. After Bryan Caraway pulled out of the event due to injury, Vera was aligned to step in.
However, Rivera declined the bout and cited Vera’s standing in the division. Rivera also said he didn’t want to hurt “Chito” or take money away from Vera’s daughter, who was struggling with health issues at the time.
In an October interview with MMA Junkie, Vera voiced his desire to finally fight Rivera. There’s some unsettled business there and Vera likes the stylistic matchup.
“I want Jimmie Rivera – I want to run this back,” Vera said. “I feel of all the ranked guys it’s the perfect fight. We were supposed to fight. The fight was announced. He pulled out with some dumb sort of excuse.
“I’m not mad or upset, but I want to fight. I feel like that’s the easiest fight, not because the guy is easy. It’s easy to get because we already were scheduled to fight before. We can run it back.”
After winning five straight fights to kick off his UFC tenure, Rivera has been on a skid. The Tiger Schulmann’s product has dropped three of his past four fights. In June, Rivera dropped a unanimous decision to Petr Yan.
Vera is riding a lengthy winning streak entering UFC 247. Victorious in his past five, Vera has finished as many opponents. In his most recent outing at UFC on ESPN+ 19 in October, Vera finished Ewell with ground-and-pound in the third round.
With the addition, the UFC 247 lineup includes:
- Champ Jon Jones vs. Dominick Reyes – for light heavyweight title
- Champ Valentina Shevchenko vs. Katlyn Chookagian – for women’s flyweight title
- Ilir Latifi vs. Derrick Lewis
- Mirsad Bektic vs. Dan Ige
- Ovince Saint Preux vs. Ryan Spann
- Andrea Lee vs. Lauren Murphy
- Juan Adams vs. Justin Tafa
- Dhiego Lima vs. Alex Morono
- Jimmie Rivera vs. Marlon Vera