MMA Preview – Jimmie Rivera vs Marlon Moraes at UFC Fight Night 131

AT A GLANCE

When is UFC Fight Night 131? Saturday 2nd June, 2018 - 01:00 start (UK)

Where is UFC Fight Night 131? Adirondack Bank Center, Utica, New York

What channel is UFC Fight Night 131 on? BT Sport 2

Where can I stream UFC Fight Night 131? BT Sport subscribers can stream the fight online via the BT Sport website

Are tickets still available for UFC Fight Night 131? http://uk.ufc.com/event-ticket-info?utm_source=ufc&utm_medium=tab&utm_campaign=tickets

THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

While TJ Dillashaw, Cody Garbrandt and Dominick Cruz have been battling to prove they are the best bantamweight in the world, Jimmie Rivera and Marlon Moraes have been patiently waiting for their own opportunity.

Rivera hasn’t fought in nearly a year after failing to find an opponent at UFC 219. Cruz pulled out due to a broken arm before his replacement – John Lineker – then pulled out due to a tooth infection and to top it all off, a last minute agreement with Moraes failed to materialize. They now finally meet in Utica, New York.

Moraes has won an impressive 15 of his last 16 fights with his last two wins consisting of a close decision over John Dodson and a knockout courtesy of a murderous knee against Aljamain Sterling.

Rivera on the other hand is riding a 20-fight winning streak which is extremely rare at this level of the game. He earned two more decisions in his last two outings against Urijah Faber and Thomas Almeida.

THE PREDICTION

Rivera is desperate to get back in the cage and prove he is at championship level. Not many fighters are putting their hand up to fight him but Moraes is confident of a win and a finish.

Moraes is indeed a knockout threat; he is incredibly explosive on the feet – more so than Rivera – but he has never been put away. This fight promises to be as closely contested as they are on paper. It is going to be intense, gritty and a war of attrition.

The deciding factor in this fight will come down to output, whether Moraes can land that killer blow or Rivera can gradually wear his opponent down. This is a five round fight and you may just have to back the cardio and durability of Rivera. Considering his average fight time is 12 minutes and 18 seconds, a decision is most likely.

Winner: Rivera via Decision

Striking and grappling stats sourced via FightMetric.