But, it wasn't without controversy.
Moments before sinking in a fight-ending bulldog choke, "The California Kid" accidentally poked Rivera's right eye (see it), causing him to visibly wince in pain and discomfort. A few seconds later, the fight was over.
During today's (Feb. 17, 2015) hearing with Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), Team Rivera had its request to have the bout overturned shut down, as NSAC officials declared that the referee on duty, Mario Yamasaki, never actually saw the inadvertent poke.
Basically, it's as if it never happened. This, despite the fact that Faber admitted to the accidental foul after the fact.
MMA Weekly has more:
In order for the outcome of the fight to be altered, Yamasaki would have had to misinterpreted one of Nevada's rules, according to Deputy Attorney General Christopher Eccles. Eccles argued that Yamasaki did not misinterpret a rule, he simply did not see the eye poke occur. Had Yamasaki halted the fight believing there may have been an eye poke, he could have used Nevada's allowance for instant replay to verify the eye poke, but instant replay did not come into play because Yamasaki did not suspect the eye poke and did not halt the fight.
Rivera ultimately had to undergo surgery a week after the incident to repair a cracked retina.
And even though both Faber and Rivera were open to a rematch, UFC matchmakers had other plans, booking Faber opposite Frankie Edgar in the main event of UFC Fight Night 65, which goes down on May 16, 2015, in Manila, Philippines.
As for Rivera, he'll have to move on, too, once he's ready and able.