UFC Fight Night Report - Marlon Moraes stops Jimmie Rivera in 33 seconds

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/06/02/ufc-fight-night-report-marlon-moraes-stops-jimmie-rivera-in-33-secona/

The UFC held their first-ever card in Utica, New York on Friday night from the Adirondack Bank Center in front of an announced attendance of 5,063 and a gate of $322,825.

The card was headlined by two of the best bantamweights in the world as Marlon Moraes met Jimmie Rivera. The fight was expected to catapult the winner into the top of the division and possibly in line for a title fight after the rematch between TJ Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt this summer.

Moraes connecting a sensational head kick that dropped Rivera and Moraes immediately swarmed Rivera with follow up strikes as referee Dan Miragliotta halted the fight after 33 seconds.

The victory makes it three-consecutive for Moraes, who is openly calling for a championship shot in his next fight. He won in spectacular fashion with a highlight level knockout that rivals his previous win over Aljamain Sterling. He also handed Rivera his first loss since November 2008, which added up to a stretch of twenty consecutive wins.

The most bizarre story of the night came courtesy of the New York State Athletic Commission, who seem to be allergic to flying under the radar when the UFC stages a show within the state. On Friday afternoon, a statement was released that strawweight Jessica Aguilar was being removed from the card due to a medical issue and opponent Jodie Esquibel would be unable to fight as well. Aguilar posted a video later in the day, stating that the NYSAC observed that there was something on her lip and had to be cleared by a dermatologist. Aguilar was cleared by the dermatologist but the NYSAC observed that her lips were still chapped and would not allow her to fight. The two strawweights are hopeful of having a fight rebooked immediately.

Here are the results of the card from Friday night in Utica:
Jose Torres def. Jarred Brooks by KO at 2:55 of Round 2 – This was one of the strangest finishes of the year. Brooks lifted Torres ala Matt Hughes vs. Frank Trigg, he slammed Torres down but in the process he knocked himself out, Torres snuck out and finishes the fight with strikes
Nathaniel Wood def. Johnny Eduardo by D’Arce choke at 2:18 of Round 2
Des Green def. Gleison Tibau by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Belal Muhammad def. Chance Rencountre by unanimous decision (30-27 all)
*David Teymur def. Nik Lentz by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
*Sijara Eubanks def. Lauren Murphy by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) – Eubanks looked impressive. It was a moral victory that she made the flyweight limit after being unable to do so for the TUF Finale and was replaced by Roxanne Modafferi in the tournament final for the flyweight title. Eubanks wants the next title shot, but there is no way she should get that title fight ahead of Valentina Shevchenko.
*Sam Alvey def. Gian Villante by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) – Alvey was losing the first round and then attacked Villante with a flurry of strikes, which may have won the fight for him as it was very close. Alvey challenged Corey Anderson for his next fight.
Julio Arce def. Daniel Teymur by rear-naked choke at 2:55 of Round 3
Ben Saunders def. Jake Ellenberger by TKO at 1:56 of Round 1 – Saunders hit a pinpoint accurate knee to the liver from the clinch and Ellenberger was done
*Walt Harris def. Daniel Spitz by TKO at 4:59 of Round 2
*Gregor Gillespie def. Vinc Pichel by arm-triangle choke at 4:06 of Round 2 – Gillespie deserves a big opponent in his next fight. This was a mauling with a 10-8 first round and was well on his way to another 10-8 when he submitted Pichel, who was dominated from the jump. Gillespie is undefeated with high level wrestling and a furious top game
*Marlon Moraes def. Jimmie Rivera by KO at 0:33 of Round 1

There was no Fight of the Night bonus awarded, but they did give out four Performances bonuses to Marlon Moraes, Gregor Gillespie, Ben Saunders, and Nathaniel Wood for $50,000 each.

Next week’s card is the big UFC 225 pay-per-view from the United Center in Chicago. The card features two title fights with the middleweight title rematch between Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero and the interim welterweight title fight between Rafael dos Anjos and Colby Covington.

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Rather dull card, with some exciting finishes.

  • Gregor Gillespie is quickly becoming a can’t miss prospect. With lightweight being so stacked, I might give him one more fight before putting him against a top 15, but tons of potential in this guy.
  • Great win for Marlon Moraes, exactly what he needed to put his name in the title picture. There’s a bit of a log jam admittedly in the 135 division right now, with the somewhat confusing Dillashaw/Garbrandt rematch happening in August, it leaves contenders like Morales and Assunção in limbo, while you also have big names like Dominick Cruz and Demetrious Johnson who could easily find themselves across from the champion.
  • have to feel for Jimmie Rivera. 20 fight win streak (he probably earned a title shot back in 2016), never gets the title shot and has it all taken away in 30 seconds.
  • there was a disgusting eye gouge and a cage grab in the Teymur/Lentz fight that I feel didn’t get enough attention. I realize Teymur is an exciting prospect, and Lentz is far from a beloved figure, but as Anik mentioned during the broadcast, if there is no punishment for fight changing fouls like those, then fighters will continue to exploit them.
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On top of my 50% missing weight penalty proposal, I completely agree with this as well. I did a completely informal study (do not quote me Al Jezeera or the Huffington Post!!) and I concluded that 83% of fighters that committed one of these fouls (the two you are saying as well as a great balls of fire shot) went on to win the fight.

Part of the problem for rendering some punishment is a boxing scoring system does not work in MMA. (I know I’m like trying to change much of this sport, but I’ve thought about it quite a bit and it does need some adjustments). I get keeping the 10 for the ‘winner of the round’, but the loser of the round’s score should be like down to 5 (for almost being finished). 10-7, 10-8 should be much more common and then these fouls could have easy point deductions. Heck, I know the following might be a little silly, but if you crank the guy in the nuts, he gets to do that to you to even it up. I like Jon Jones as much as the next guy, but he shouldn’t be allowed to have an 84.5 inch reach with his fingers out all the time.

Heck, in the NBA the league said in their last 2 minute report that Draymond Green committed a lane violation on that last missed free throw. HELLO NBA. L. James has lane violated on 90% of his free throws in these playoffs (the shooter can not cross the line until the ball gets to the rim) !!!

Anyway, always enjoy your MMA comments @Celticy (obviously you as well John).

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  • I think the way the weight miss was handled in the Thompson/Till fight was a step in the right direction. Till gave up 30% of his purse to Wonderboy and had to weigh in again on fight day at an agreed upon weight for the fight to go through. Not a perfect solution of course, but definitely an improvement.

  • I would agree that the judges should hand out 10-8’s and 10-7’s more often. While a fighter could win 2 out of 3 rounds, not all rounds are necessarily won equally. For example, there was a large difference between Darren Till winning round 5 of the aforementioned Thompson fight, and Khabib mauling Edson Barboza in round 1 if there UFC 219 contest.

  • don’t get me started on the NBA playoffs.

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Yeah, and to be fair, apparently Till offered all of it so kudos to him.
Most of the fighters at fight time are above the weight class over theirs so that seems like a stupid system.
From what I can gather Molly McMann was the first fighter to lose this year after missing weight (and that was her first UFC fight).

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Yeah Molly McCann was the first fighter to miss weight and lose so far this year. I believe the current record stands at 8-1.

The one that really rubs me the wrong way was the Rockhold/Romero fight from 221. Rockhold was originally supposed to fight Whittaker for the title, but then Whittaker pulls out and (to his credit) Romero steps in. Now, Romero misses weight by about 3 pounds and he pretty much dances off the stage. Rockhold makes weight but is so dehydrated from his weight cut he is having trouble forming sentences in his “post weigh-in” interview. From Ariel Helwani’s reports it seems as though Rockhold wasn’t sure about taking the fight but was talked into it by Dana and the UFC later in the day. Fight day comes, Romero brutally knocks Luke out in the third round, kisses him against the cage as he wakes up, and then gets a title shot, headlining one of the biggest PPV’s of the year. On the other hand, Rockhold has been written off as a contender in the division and is talking about switching divisions.

That one still really bothers me. I don’t dislike Yoel, but it really feels like an injustice the way things turned out there.

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Good example.

How about at Fight Night Barboza/Lee, Aspen Ladd misses weight by 1.8 pounds. She offers Leslie Smith 5G’s on top of the 20%, Heck that might be more than my 50% with the 5G’s on top. Smith does not want the catchweight fight. UFC pays Leslie Smith her show AND win bonus and then releases her!!!

Also UFC 227, Max Holloway tries to cut 4,637 pounds in 6 days to fill in for Ferguson and shockingly can’t do it (I think it was 30 pounds?).

I can’t find this other one, but wasn’t there a fight recently where one guy was fighting for the interim belt and the other guy wasn’t?

I’m totally sympathetic to these fill ins also. Pull outs are going to happen all the time. If someone is willing to step in, and obviously if it’s not a title fight (even if it’s an eliminator), cut both guys some slack and make it a few pounds or 5 more just to get the fight going. Rockhold had to get to that number anyhow, but I agree with you that it gives an opponent an edge (even a late one), if he’s not getting there also. Realize this is going to happen and even up the playing field ahead of time.

I always enjoyed Frankie Edgar. He’s like weight cut? I’m usually right around this weight all the time.

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  • The Leslie Smith situation was shadier still, considering how vocal she had been about fighters needing to unionize.
  • Holloway/Pettis at UFC 206 was an Interim title fight for just Max after Pettis missed weight, and Romero/Rockhold from 221 was only an interim title fight for Rockhold after Romeros miss.
  • Yeah I don’t blame the UFC for trying to make Holloway/Khabib considering the insanity of that week, but its just another example of the dangerous weight cuts these guys are doing. I believe Max said he started cutting weight the Friday before fight week, and he still wasn’t able to make weight for the division above his own.
  • Frankie’s the man. Barely cut weight for his 155 title run at all. I think he said he’s put on a bit more weight and the featherweight cut is about 20 pounds. Nothing crazy, but I can see why he’s not interested in the bantamweight division.
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