Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Bantamweight strikers Jimmie Rivera and Marlon Moraes clashed last night (June 1, 2018) at UFC Fight Night 131 from inside Adirondack Bank Center in Utica, New York.
Rivera built up a hugely impressive win streak on the regional scene, and his excellence continued inside the Octagon with another five victories. Now a bona fide top-five fighter, Rivera looked to secure a title shot by taking out Moraes.
While Rivera spent his regional years across many different promotions, Moraes stayed planted in World Series of Fighting (WSOF), where he captured the belt and defended it five times. Moraes joined the UFC’s roster last year, and he quickly broke into the title mix as well.
For all the build up, this one didn’t last long.
The fighters circled and feinted to open. Moraes landed a quick inside low kick. Seconds later, he flashed a jab. Then, Moraes finished the fight with a second switch kick, going high and connecting directly to Rivera’s temple. “El Terror” fell to the mat hard, and Moraes followed up with some clubbing shots that sealed the deal.
Moraes needed just 33 seconds to knock out Rivera.
There’s really nothing to analyze. Moraes landed a good low kick (which would’ve been the main weapon of my imaginary game plan for the Brazilian) before looking low and kicking high. Moraes’ switch kick is lightning fast, and it bashed into Rivera’s skull with the cracking sound of a baseball bat.
With this quick knockout win, Moraes has most likely secured himself a title shot. Regardless of who wins between current UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt, Moraes will make for an excellent challenger.
There was little to analyze for Moraes and even less for Rivera. He seemed to expect a body kick judging by his hand position, and instead a head kick clipped him. It all happened in the first 30 seconds, where even veteran fighters are still getting a read on their opponent. Sadly, that’s all it took to boot Rivera from the immediate title mix.
Rivera’s title chances are not over, but it will take another couple wins for him to regain his position.
Last night, Marlon Moraes quickly brutalized Jimmie Rivera for another knockout win. Will Moraes capture the title?
For complete UFC Fight Night 131 “Rivera vs. Moraes” results and play-by-play, click HERE!