Jimmy Rivera got the better of a competitive three round battle with Thomas Almeida tonight in the main card opener at UFC On FOX 25 in Long Island, New York.
Rivera misses on a leg kick attempt. Almeida connects with his though to the inside leg. Another lands. Short flurry from Rivera comes up short as he tries to fine-tune his range and Almeida lands another leg kick.
Left hook for Rivera. Rivera continuing to work that inside leg. Rivera with a kick and a punch behind it. Rivera lands a left hand and drops ALmeida. Rivera swarms on him, but Almeida recovers and gets back up.
Rivera starting to piece together his punches nicely. Push kick attempt from Almeida. Rivera with a solid body kick. Exchange in close and Almeida goes to the head as Rivera works the body.
Rivera connects with that right hand again and drops Almeida for the second time in the first round. Again Almeida recovers and gets back to his feet, but these are worrying times for him.
Nice crisp combo from Almeida as he continues to press forward despite the early adversity he’s suffered. Another one-two lands for him to end the round.
Almeida back to the inside leg kick. Quick exchange in close. Nice knee to the body from Almeida, but Rivera is in on a takedown attempt that gets stuffed.
Both men letting their hands go when they get into range. Rivera connects, but Almeida takes that one and soon after lands a punch of his own.
Overhand for Almeida and then to the inside leg kick again. Rivera lands with a punch to the head and Almeida looks stunned just for a moment.
Push kick for Almeida. One-two for Rivera. Rivera to the inside of the leg with a kick. Jumping front kick for Almeida and then the inside leg kick.
Big punch from Almeida buckles Rivera’s legs! Good recovery from him though. Both men showing good recouperative powers in this fight.
Almeida back to his kicking game. Inside kick from Almeida is checked. He connects upstairs with a head kick. Almeida starting to pick his shots a little more now and he catches Rivera with a punch as he’s coming in a couple of times towards the end of the round.
Rivera in on an early takedown attempt in the final round, hoists Almeida up and slams him to the mat. That’s a big strategic moment for him. Almeida manages to work towards the cage. He uses the cage to get up. Rivera staying on him via the back clinch, but Almeida manages to separate.
They both exchange in close and Rivera lands a short left hook. Low kick for Almedia and he gets countered with a punch.
Almeida ducks a punch and comes up with an uppercut. Spinning back kick to the body from Almeida just connects. Rivera works to the body in close.
Almeida with a short flurry, but Rivera clinches up and works his opponent over to the cage looking for a takedown. Almeida breaks away.
Almeida with a body kick and then a straight lands. Rivera attempts a takedown, but it’s stuffed. Rivera wading in with hooks.
Big jumping knee from Almeida to the body, but Rivera drives immediately into a takedown. Almeida quickly back up though.
Both men continuing to exchange in close and showing good cardio. Almeida looking busier as he needs to as Rivera’s takedowns will be a big factor in the decision that will now follow.
Good fight then in which both competitors chins were tested, but in the end it was Rivera who largely got the better of it with two knockdowns in the first round and a few takedowns thrown in for good measure, helping him on his way to a unanimous decision victory (29-28, 30-26, 30-27).