Rivera takes blame for fight cancelation confusion

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Immediately after the cancellation of the main card fight between Bryan Caraway and Jimmie Rivera due to an injury to Caraway, there was a whirlwind of announcements. When the dust all settled, despite all of the previous speculation and announcements, we wound up with no replacement fight for Rivera. This left fans, MMA pundits, and even fighters involved with a lot of questions.

After the period of uncertainty, Rivera stepped up to take the blame off of the UFC brass for all of the confusion.

“I jumped the gun, it’s my fault,” said Rivera during a recent appearance on the Top Turtle Podcast. “I told my management right away without speaking to my coach.”

“Found out Monday that Caraway was out of the fight – supposedly he got hurt. I said, ‘you’ve got to be kidding me, I trained two months for this guy.'”

So, his management team went right into finding him an opponent.

“On Thursday they gave me two opponents: Dodson or Marlon Vera,” said Rivera.

While clearly there was a difference in ranking, his decision was made based on preparation – like he imagined his coach would want.

“We trained for someone that’s a tall righty,” explained Rivera. “Marlon’s a tall righty. He’s a grappler, he’s not really a wrestler, but he is a grappler, which is 50% of what we trained for. We didn’t train for a short lefty.”

However, after speaking with his coach, Rivera realized that taking the fight did nothing to propel his career forward.

“How would it help me get forward? And I don’t see an answer to that,” Rivera said.

After realizing this he made the tough, but ultimately mature decision, to call off the fight.

Rivera also expresses his opinion on who champion Cody Garbrandt should fight next, how Rivera was the one who truly retired Urijah Faber, and why the 20-1 Rivera and ex-champ, Dominick Cruz should be fighting in a title eliminator.

(Interview starts at 42:00)

Author Daniel Vreeland is a co-founder of the Top Turtle Podcast, and a purple belt in Jiu-Jitsu at New England Submission Fighting in Amherst, Massachusetts.