Jimmie Rivera claimed a big scalp tonight at UFC 203, besting Urijah Faber for three rounds, with repeated leg kicks being his biggest weapon, to earn a unanimous decision victory.
Faber with an early inside leg kick. He rushes in for a body kick, but it’s almost caught. Faber ducks under a punch, but then eats an uppercut from Rivera.
Leg kick for Rivera. Push kick from Faber. Good right hand lands for Rivera. Faber just misses with a head kick attempt.
Low kick for Rivera. They briefly go into the clinch with Faber looking for knees and then breaks away. Rivera lands a right hand counter.
Faber just short with a left hook. Missed kick from Rivera. Bit of a lull in the action with both men respectful of what the other brings to the table.
Faber with a right hand, and Rivera lands a counter left in return. Front kick upstairs misses for Faber and Rivera lands a low kick.
Punch from Rivera as Faber throws a knee attempt upstairs. leg kick for Rivera. Faber pumps out the jab as the rounds draws to a close.
Faber misses with a front kick upstairs and Rivera lands his own low kick. Leg kick for Faber now, but it lands to the groin unintentionally and forces a brief stoppage.
Faber tries to land a punch, but eats a counter from Rivera. Body kick from Faber. Again Faber tries for that front kick to the head, and again it misses, leaving him open to a counter punch from Rivera.
Leg kick from Rivera knocks Faber off his feet. He’s straight back up, but that will have hurt. Right hand lands for Rivera now. Another right for Rivera and he catches a kick from Faber too.
Powerful leg kick from Rivera and those are taking a toll. Left hook for Faber. Another leg kick for Rivera and Faber looked unstable on it for a moment.
Faber steps forward with urgency, throwing a knee to the body. Faber feeds out the jab, but gets caught with one in reply. inside leg kick for Rivera. Now one to the outside.
Brief clinch, but they quickly break apart. Leg kick again. The round comes to a close with Faber trying to disguise the discomfort he’s undoubtedly feeling in his lead leg.
Faber wades in with big punches, but hits thin air. Both men miss punches and then Rivera lands a kick to Faber’s hind quarters as he moves away.
Another kick from Rivera and Faber tries unsuccessfully to catch it. Punch lands for Rivera. Another kick knocks Faber off-balance just for a moment, but he rights himself, only to be greeted with another kick.
Rivera suffers an eye poke and that forces a stoppage as the doctor takes a look, but he’s ok to continue.
Back to it they go. Not for the first time in the fight Faber kicks up the middle, misses and eats a punch for his troubles. Faber lands a leg kick.
Leg kick lands for Rivera that turns Faber’s limb over a little. Another kick lands. Right hand connects for Faber. He needs more of that…a lot more.
Faber tries to clinch and he’s brushed aside by Rivera. Body kick for Rivera that’s almost caught. Faber stumbles slightly as he comes forward and as he resets he takes another leg kick.
Right hand for Rivera gets through, then a left. Another right hook then a left hook to the body for Rivera. Faber misses with an overhand. Rivera swinging wildly, but doesn’t connect, and that’s it, we’re heading to the judges.
Rivera says straight away that he can’t see out of his right eye after that eye poke earlier in the round.
Onto the decision then, and there’s little doubt about this one, with Rivera earning a clean sweep on the judges scorecards for the unanimous decision victory (30-27 x3).