UFC Utica: Jimmie Rivera vs. Marlon Moraes Expected as Main Event

Jimmie Rivera UFC Utica Marlon Moraes
Jimmie Rivera Credit: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

With three of his last four scheduled bouts falling through, Jimmie Rivera will hopefully finally step in the Octagon across Marlon Moraes in the UFC Utica main event.

MMA Fighting first reported the bantamweight bout for UFC Utica.

Jimmie Rivera and Marlon Moraes were briefly connected after Rivera’s UFC 219 bouts with Dominick Cruz and John Lineker failed to come to fruition. Moraes threw his name out there, Rivera obliged but Moraes then revealed he would not be able to make the weight in time, even with a larger allowance.

Jimmie Rivera has been on an incredible run ever since losing in his second pro fight. Rivera has won 20 straight bouts, five of which were in the Octagon. After defeating Urijah Faber on UFC 203’s pay-per-view main card, Rivera made his presence known in the stacked bantamweight division, but has struggled to get a fight through no fault of his own. Bryan Caraway, Dominick Cruz, and John Lineker have all pulled out of bouts with “El Terror” since the beginning of 2017. Rivera’s last fight was a dominant win over Thomas Almeida in the Summer of last year.

Marlon Moraes ruled over World Series of Fighting before signing with the UFC. Borderline split decisions against Raphael Assuncao (loss) and John Dodson (win) slowed down the hype, but he gained it right back with an incredible knee knockout against Aljamain Sterling. Moraes defended his WSOF belt six times and has finished 14 of his 20 career victories.

UFC Utica will take place in the Adirondack Bank Center in Central New York, which is the home of the American Hockey League’s Utica Comets. The only other bout set for the fight night event is between The Ultimate Fighter contestants Sijara Eubanks and Lauren Murphy. Eubanks was supposed to fight for the inaugural flyweight belt, but could not make the weight.