UFC 228 Results: Jimmie Rivera Tops John Dodson Via Decision

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

In a fight that got Jimmie Rivera back in the win column, but turned out to be something of a frustrating chess match, ‘El Terror’ topped John Dodson via a unanimous decision in Dallas on Saturday.

Another key bantamweight bout on the UFC 228 main card, Jimmie Rivera vs. John Dodson promised plenty of fireworks. With Rivera coming off a rare loss that snapped a years-long winning streak, you knew he was highly motivated to get back in the win column. As for Dodson, ‘The Magician’ had never quite lived up to expectations at 135lbs, despite winning The Ultimate Fighter there. Yet the two-time flyweight title challenger was still looking to find his footing, something a statement win over Rivera would no doubt help.

Rivera vs. Dodson started with a little bit of a feeling out process early as the action got underway. Dodson then caught a leg off a kick, and was able to clip him with a punch. Dodson has the speed advantage, but Rivera, undeterred, continued to attack the lead leg of his opponent. He followed that with a punch to the body. Dodson then landed a thudding kick to the midsection. It would be a speed versus power situation, but as he’s made clear over the years, Dodson does have fairly heavy hands. Rivera opted to change things up, thinking takedown, only to be denied by his opponent. He’d connect with a jab after Dodson fired off a kick, however. The chess match nature of the first round did not exactly win over the fans, however, who were fairly agitated towards the end of the frame.

In the second, Rivera continued attacking Dodson’s leg, looking no doubt to take away the former flyweight title challenger’s speed advantage. Dodson stayed outside, but checked the next kick, and caught a third. Rivera, however, was also having success with his hands, moving in and out, using head feints, and keeping Dodson guessing. A low blow by Rivera would pause the action, and they’d continue with the back-and-forth to close out the round.

The third round continued the chess match approach. No one fighter really stood out over the course of the fight. If anything, Rivera’s attacks had slowed Dodson a little, allowing ‘El Terror’ to be more effective as the fight went on. The judge’s seemed to agree, awarding Rivera a unanimous decision in the end. It wasn’t the fireworks many expected, but Rivera, at least, got things back on track.

Jimmie Rivera def. John Dodson by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)