Jimmie Rivera got back into the win column on Saturday night at UFC 228 but it wasn’t exactly a crowd pleasing affair for the fans in Dallas.
Rivera was coming back from a stunning first round knockout loss in his most recent fight against Marlon Moraes so getting the win was definitely the most important order of business going into the bout with Dodson.
The New Jersey native definitely did his job but it wasn’t a highlight reel performance by any means.
Rivera and Dodson were both cautious to leave themselves exposed when blitzing forward with combinations, each aware of the other’s speed and power when returning fire.
Rivera was able to catch the former “Ultimate Fighter” winner with a couple of long straight punches as he looked to use his size advantage. Dodson didn’t back down, however, as he came back with some quick fire punches while constantly circling away from Rivera’s power hand.
As time ticked away, Rivera was definitely landing with more precision while constantly keeping his right hand cocked to look for the power shot. Unfortunately for Rivera, the speed factor from Dodson was keeping him away from taking much damage during any of the exchanges.
The problem for Dodson was for all his defense, he wasn’t doing much offensively and Rivera’s output was probably scoring him points with the judges.
When the second round came to an end, Rivera and Dodson’s corners both told them to push the pace during the final five minutes because neither fighter had really dominated enough to feel confident that the fight was won.
Sadly there wasn’t much more action in the third and final round with Rivera and Dodson jockeying for position and not taking much risk during their striking combinations.
The crowd in Dallas definitely let the fighters hear it when the final horn sounded as the judges rendered their decision. The final scores were 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 all in favor of Rivera, who gets back on track following a knockout loss in his last fight.
While it certainly wasn’t the most exciting fight on record, Rivera did what he had to do to get the job done and earn the victory to return to the win column after falling in his last fight in June.