UFC Long Island (a.k.a. UFC on Fox 25) looks like it’s got a promising bantamweight scrap added to the card. As first reported by Newsday, Jimmie Rivera is set to take on Thomas Almeida at the event. Rivera is ranked fifth in the 135lb division, while Almedia is ranked ninth.
Rivera (20–1) hasn’t lost since 2009, and went on a three fight run immediately upon joining the UFC in 2015. That earned him a crack at one of bantamweight’s all-time greats, Urijah Faber, last year. Rivera shocked the MMA world by becoming the first non-champ/former champ to defeat Faber outside of a title fight, earning a unanimous decision victory at UFC 203.
Almeida (22–1), meanwhile, had his twenty-one fight win streak snapped by Cody Garbrandt at UFC Fight Night 88. However, he bounced back with a win over Albert Morales last November.
While Dominick Cruz remains in the mix, the winner of this bout could be very close to a shot at the winner of Garbrandt vs. T.J. Dillashaw.
UFC on Fox 25 takes place July 22 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. No headliner has been made official for the card. Maybe this guy is available.