10 Best MMA Bantamweight Prospects of 2014
#6: Jimmie Rivera
Jimmie Rivera has made his rounds in the mixed martial arts world. He’s tried out for The Ultimate Fighter, fought in Bellator 4 times, and most recently debuted in WSOF, but for whatever reason, Rivera just hasn’t been able to settle down with one promotion. Rivera was 8-1 as a professional by the time he tried out for The Ultimate Fighter 14. Unfortunately, Rivera was forced to try out for TUF 14 as a Featherweight since his teammate Louis Gaudinot was also trying out. Rivera was matched up with eventual semifinalist and current Top 15 Featherweight Dennis Bermudez. Rivera had Bermudez badly hurt early in the fight, and clearly took round 1. Yet, as round 2 started, Rivera immediately looked fatigued, and Bermudez stormed back to win the fight. Rivera eventually returned back to the Ring of Combat promotion, where he won their Bantamweight title. Rivera would soon vacate that title as he moved on to Bellator and WSOF. Rivera only competed on Bellator undercards and never competed in a tournament. Although Bellator was short on depth in their Bantamweight division they allowed Rivera to move on to WSOF in 2013. Rivera made a successful debut in WSOF with a hard-fought decision victory over veteran Sidemar Honorio. It is unknown if Rivera is still with the promotion as he’s rumored to have returned back East to the Cage Fury FC promotion. Rivera is a wrestler at heart, but he has been more than willing to brawl in the earlier parts of his fights. He usually bunkers down after the 1st round, and grinds out his opponents in top position. Rivera’s less than stellar finishing percentage (23%) may be why the UFC and Bellator have thus far passed on signing him because based on his record, he certainly belongs in the UFC at this stage in his career.