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Monday Morning Hangover: What’s next for Jimmie Rivera after knockout loss at UFC Utica?

Esther Lin/MMA Fighting

Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone as UFC Fight Night 131 blew the roof off Adirondack Bank Center last Friday (June 1, 2018) in Utica, N.Y.

Plenty of fighters were left licking their wounds, including Vinc Pichel, who was choked out by Gregor Gillespie (recap). And Jake Ellenberger, who was knocked out by Ben Saunders thanks to a perfectly-timed knee to the body (relive it here).

But which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now a few days removed from the show?

Jimmie Rivera.

Going into his main event fight against Marlon Moraes, Rivera was eyeing a title fight with a win. I mean, he deserved it as he has won 20 in a row, including big wins over Thomas Almeida and Urijah Faber. And while it wasn’t a lock, according to “El Terror” talks were had about a championship fight.

Furthermore, Rivera wasn’t too happy with the fact that Marlon was already on the fast track to a title fight thanks to all of the love he’s been getting from the promotion in only three fights with UFC.

A slap in the face, if you will.

Unfortunately for Jimmie, his championship aspirations went out the window in just a little over 30 second after “Magic” clipped him with a kick to the head, and then followed it up with a few ground-and-pound shots to put an end to the bout. And if there was ever a “I just got caught moment,” this was definitely it, as Rivera has been one of the most consistent fighters in all of MMA, having never been finished before in his professional career.

It’s a tough blow for Rivera, who will now be forced to get back on the horse and start another run to get into the thick of things at 135-pounds.

Thank you everyone for the support. Wasn’t my night. Hats off to Marlon. Just means that I need to get back on that horse and try again! #NQS #darkhorse

As for what’s next for Jimmie, perhaps a showdown against John Dodson sounds about right. “The Magician” was last seen taking out Pedro Munhoz at UFC 222 in March. And since Rivera is keen on making a quick return, that timetables work for both men. Sure, Dodson is coming off a win and Rivera off a loss, but Jimmie is ranked higher than the Jackson-Winkeljohn-trained fighter, so it’s a fight I’m sure he wouldn’t turn down.

A win for John would be huge in his quest to get back to another UFC title fight, while Rivera, I’m sure, would love to throw down with one of the fastest and most entertaining fighters in the division.

Unless, of course you have a better idea.

For complete UFC Fight Night 131: “Rivera vs Moraes” results, including play-by-play updates, click here.

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