By Dave Doyle |
July 15, 2020 11:50 pm
Such was the case Wednesday night when Rivera (23-4 MMA, 7-3 UFC) did what he needed to do against Cody Stamann on the main card of UFC on ESPN 13.
The two bantamweight contenders, who took this hastily made fight on short notice at featherweight, put in a hard-nosed 15 minutes of action, but Rivera always seemed a step faster and landed his strikes with a bit more impact, and that was enough to get him the nod. The judges’ scores were 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 for a unanimous decision.
“I took it last minute,” said Rivera. “I had just a couple days to get ready for a fight. I’m a perfectionist – I want to be better, I want to get the finish.”
The duo clearly respected one another’s abilities, which led to the action playing out at a cautious pace. Rivera picked his shots, but landed like sledgehammers when he did throw. Rivera threw leg kicks early on in the opening round, then dropped him with a body shot. Stamann (19-3-1 MMA, 5-2-1 UFC) worked his way back to his feet, and was getting the better of the standup in the clinch, when ref Dan Movahedi made a curious call for a restart.
The fight played out at this pace the rest of the way, with Stamann hanging in there but never quite getting sustained offense untracked, as Rivera was just a bit too slick. Rivera came closest to a finish with a tight third round guillotine, but Stamann escaped and hung on until the final horn.
Rivera snapped a two-fight losing streak with his 17th career decision win. Stamann, who is six weeks removed from an emotional win over Brian Kelleher just after the death of his younger brother, lost for the first time in his past four fights.
The featherweight bout was part of the main card at UFC on ESPN 13 at Flash Forum at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. It aired on ESPN and streamed on ESPN+.
Up-to-the-minute UFC on ESPN 13 results include:
Jimmie Rivera def. Cody Stamann via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Taila Santos def. Molly McCann via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Mounir Lazzez def. Abdul Razak Alhassan via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Khamzat Chimaev def. John Phillips via submission (D’Arce choke) – Round 2, 1:12
Lerone Murphy def. Ricardo Ramos via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 4:18
Modestas Bukauskas def. Andreas Michailidis via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 5:00
Jared Gordon def. Chris Fishgold via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
Liana Jojua def. Diana Belbita via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 2:43
Jack Shore def. Aaron Phillips via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 2:29
Breaking, Cody Stamann, Jimmie Rivera, UFC on ESPN 13, News, UFC
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