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Jimmie Rivera: UFC giving Marlon Moraes top fights, main event slot is a slap in the face

Jimmie Rivera and Marlon Moraes will collide in the main event of this Friday’s (June 1, 2018) UFC Fight Night 131 event inside Adirondack Bank Center in Utica, New York. But if you ask Rivera, Marlon has no business headlining an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) event.

To hear him tell it, work done outside of the organization and getting “lucky” inside the Octagon holds no weight.

“I don’t think he deserves it at all,” Rivera told FanSided MMA. “He’s 2-1 and, he even said it himself, it was a lucky knockout (over Sterling). He was going for a head kick and as his knee was coming up, Sterling was going for the takedown. I don’t think he deserves it,” proclaimed Rivera.

Another beef Jimmie — who is on a 20-fight win streak including five inside the Octagon — has was the fact that Marlon as the former WSOF 135-pound champion got a top-five opponent in his first fight for UFC while he had to work hard to get to where he is today.

“It kind of sucks, too, that I got into a division where I was champ in three different organizations, defended multiple times, vacated and climbed my way up the ladder. He came from World Series of Fighting, which isn’t even around anymore, and he got a top-five guy right off the bat,” he added.

“It’s kind of a slap in the face to a guy like me who works his way up and then you’ve got a guy like him who is given stuff. He’s given a top-five guy right away, when you’re just given stuff like that, that’s not how the world works. You got to work your ass off to get where you want to be. It’s a proven fact.”

While there seems to be an understanding between Jimmie and the UFC higher-ups that a shot at the title could be at stake should he defeat Marlon, he wants to leave no doubt as to who the next contender for the 135-pound strap should be after Cody Garbrandt and T.J. Dillashaw take care of business for a second time at UFC 227 on August 4.

“There’s always things said like, ‘Hey, you beat this guy, you’ll be next for a shot at the belt,’ but nothing is officially promised,” Rivera explained. “Things are always said, but it can never be put in writing. I’ll leave it at this; Cody (Garbrandt) went 5-0 and got a title shot. If I get the win, this will be my sixth fight in a row that I’ve won (in the UFC). Hopefully I can prove myself and make a statement Friday night to get that title shot.”

No word if Marlon has that same understanding with the promotion, as well. To see who else is fighting at UFC Fight Night 131: “Rivera vs Moraes” click here.

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