Top-ranked Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Bantamweight contenders, Jimmie Rivera (No. 5) and John Dodson (No. 7) collided tonight (Sat., Sept. 8, 2018) at UFC 228, which took place inside American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
Rivera — looking to rebound from his first-ever professional mixed martial arts (MMA) loss, a headkick knockout courtesy of Marlon Moraes — used constant pressure and inside leg kicks to earn a wide unanimous decision win.
The bout started slow, with both fighters testing the waters. Then Dodson exploded, landing a solid shot that put Rivera up against the fence in a defensive shell. He was able to quickly escape and the pair returned to the center of the Octagon, where Dodson unloaded a thundering leg kick. Rivera returned fire, drilling Dodson’s leg with numerous heavy kicks. With about one minute remaining in the opening frame, Rivera landed a nice combination then quickly followed it up with another one. Rivera landed a pair of great left hooks just as the round came to a close.
Rivera came out to start the second targeting the inside of Dodson’s thighs once again. Rivera went for another leg kick and Dodson caught it in mid-air and hit him with a short shot. It was a rather action-free round, with the crowd growing restless and voicing their collective displeasure. And it was more of the same in the third and final frame, with Rivera chasing Dodson around the Octagon and Dodson circling and looking to pot-shot his way to a decision victory. It didn’t happen, though, as Dodson was seemingly content to coast. Whether or not Rivera’s punishing leg kicks had anything to do with Dodson’s inability to engage is anyone’s guess.
Rivera went on to win a rather convincing unanimous decision victory over a Top 10-ranked contender. It won’t earn him a title shot anytime soon, but it was a solid performance that gets him back in a familiar place: The win column.
For complete UFC 228: “Woodley vs. Till” results, including play-by-play updates, click here.