Jimmie Rivera believes he’s done enough to earn a stab at T.J. Dillashaw’s bantamweight title. But considering results aren’t always what count in times like these, you can’t blame a guy for exploring some angles.
Rivera (21-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC), who is left without an opponent after injury forced former champion Dominick Cruz (22-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC) out of a scheduled UFC 219 meeting, took to Twitter today to throw a jab at newly re-crowned champ Dillashaw (via Twitter).
Saw T.J. Dillashaw’s interview on MMAFighting. Urijah Faber is the reason you got into MMA, UFC and won a title. Then you leave. I have an oldschool martial arts upbringing and loyalty is huge. I looked up to Urijah and beat him, I’ll whoop your ass 10 times worse.
If the first Tweet read more like a sales pitch than a challenge, the second one made sure to clarify his intentions. (via Twitter)
I need someone for Dec 30th and the UFC needs a main event. Let’s go, T.J. Dillashaw. You only fought for 7 and a half minutes, I know you’re in shape and healthy. Step up and stop trying to run down to 125.
Rivera did beat Faber in September of 2016, walking away from their UFC 203 encounter with a clean sweep on the scorecards. Each fighter went on to fight once more – Rivera dominated Thomas Almeida en route to a unanimous decision, while Faber beat Brad Pickett in what has (so far) marked his retirement as an MMA fighter.
Recently, though, Faber (34-10 MMA, 10-6 UFC) hinted at how a matchup with former pupil Dillashaw (15-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC) could maybe lure him back into the game. That, incidentally, is what seems to have sparked the comments that irked Rivera – though he did not clarify which article he was referring to.
“(A fight with Faber) sounds like the easiest payday ever,” Dillashaw told BJPenn.com, via MMAFighting.com. “I mean it’s just comical. I mean, come out of retirement, get a title shot off of what, losing to Jimmie Rivera and looking like crap in his fights? I mean it’s hilarious.
“But, like I said, it’d be an easy payday, so I guess I shouldn’t be laughing at it. I should be pumping him up.”
Of course, there are a few roadblocks there. Dillashaw has made it quite clear that he wants a meeting with flyweight kingpin Demetrious Johnson next – and is willing to cut an added 10 pounds in order to make that happen. And, considering his wife is having a baby due Dec. 28, fighting on Dec. 30 might not sound too appealing.
Whether Rivera, who’s currently ranked No. 5 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA bantamweight rankings, will ever get his shot at the No. 1 fighter remains to be seen. But messing with the hornet’s nest that is Dillashaw’s relationship with some of his former Team Alpha Male peers seems like as good a bet as any.view original article >>