Both Irwin Rivera and Ali Al Qaisi showed what they were capable of at UFC Vegas 6, with Rivera taking home a close split decision and his first UFC victory.
After coming up short in his short-notice debut in May, Irwin Rivera was looking to correct course in his sophomore trip to the octagon on Saturday. At UFC Vegas 6, Rivera, a.k.a. “The Beast,” was set to welcome one of the night’s newcomers: Ali Al Qaisi.
Al Qaisi would make a little bit of history in the bantamweight contest, becoming the first fighter from Jordan to make it to the UFC.
Al Qaisi was caught with an uppercut by Martinez that drove them into the clinch to start the fight. Rivera ripped Al Qaisi down with a body lock takedown and went right into side control. Rivera attempted to pass into mount, but Al Qaisi had a window to stand up. Rivera threw a superman punch that was deflected, then Al Qaisi answered with a combination. Al Qaisi threw a pair of head kicks then ate a hard body kick. Al Qaisi rode it into a clinch and Rivera attempted a guillotine, but ended up falling onto his back with Al Qaisi on top. Another guillotine was attempted, this time by Al Qaisi, but Rivera rolled out. A flying knee grazed Al Qaisi, then Rivera landed a combination. Right before the round ended, Al Qaisi hit another takedown.
Rivera started the second round with a jumping front kick that came up short, then clipped Al Qaisi with a slick one-two. A leg kick was fired by Al Qaisi, then they traded head kick attempts. A lead uppercut connected for Rivera then a straight right for Al Qaisi. Rivera landed a counter left as Al Qaisi came in, then Al Qaisi caught a kick and failed a takedown attempt. Once they separated, Al Qaisi landed a slick single leg, but Rivera got out of it quickly. A huge knee landed for Al Qaisi, then Rivera came jumping in with one of his own, leading to a catch takedown effort by Al Qaisi, who couldn’t keep the fight on the floor.
After a short feeling out process in the third round, Rivera landed a heavy left hand. Al Qaisi dipped down and landed a smooth single-leg takedown, but again, Rivera got up quickly. A one-two landed for Al Qaisi, then the fighters clinched up. Unfortunately, Rivera caught Al Qaisi below the belt with a knee. Upon the resumption of the fight, Rivera landed a huge jumping knee. Al Qaisi grabbed a hold of him and drove to the fence, landing a right hand on the exit. The left hands were starting to land for Rivera and the pair scrapped their way to the finish.
Irwin Rivera def. Ali Al Qaisi by Split Decision (29-28 x2, 28-29)