After a brief stint on The Ultimate Fighter and a couple fights in Bellator, current King of the Cage and Ring of Combat bantamweight champion Jimmie “El Terror” Rivera has begun to work his way back.
“I’ve just been training, trying to get an MMA fight, and after that MMA fight, try to get a couple more wins and hopefully make it up to a big promotion,” said Rivera of his 2012.
Having won his only fight of the year, in June, over Justin Hickey in ROC, Rivera has gone back to the drawing board to refine an aspect of his game prior to returning the promotion this Friday.
“Coming into that last fight, I thought Justin was going to be more wild and unorthodox, but you could tell he’d done some work since his last fight. When I fought him, he was picking off punches and really looking for the win,” said Rivera. “After watching the fight, I knew I really needed to work my hands more for this next fight and in general for my game.”
Bettering his striking will hopefully segue to Rivera’s other goal for his game, as he told MMAWeekly.com, “I want to be an effective fighter and I want to finish more – whether it’s grappling or TKO – I’d prefer looking for the finish in all my fights.
“When a fight goes to a decision, I feel like I’m not satisfied. I feel like there’s always a finish (available). I always go back after my fights and find what I could have done better. I’m a perfectionist and I always want to make myself better and get better.”
Rivera will be defending his ROC title Friday in Atlantic City, N.J., against Joel Roberts. Having already defended a title before, Rivera feels he’ll be prepared to do so again against Roberts.
“I have the KOTC title that I won from Abel Cullum and defended that against Jared Papazian, so I’m kind of used to having that pressure on me,” said Rivera. “I’m better experienced from my first title defense to my second right now. I know what I should do and it will help a lot in the cage.”
A good showing against Roberts in ROC could be just the thing Rivera needs to take a step towards getting another shot at the UFC in the near future.
“I’m hoping this fight leads me there, but if not, I’ll be ready to fight after that,” he said. “We’ll see how it goes. I have an ultimate goal and we’ll see where it takes me after this fight.”
(Photo courtesy of Jimmie Rivera)