John Lineker has been forced out of his fight with Jimmie Rivera at UFC 219 on Oecember 30th in Las Vegas due to suffering from a tooth infection that will require him to go emergency surgery.
That’s a major frustration for the No.4 ranked bantamweight contender Rivera, who has already had to deal with his original opponent Dominick Cruz being forced out of the fight.
However, Rivera is determined to remain on the end-of-year card and as such he may be heading for a collision course with another leading 135lb contender as it appears that former long-time WSOF champion Marlon Moraes is contemplating stepping in on short notice.
“@JimmieRivera135 what’s up? Now it’s me and you. You can’t run anymore let’s do this @seanshelby @Mickmaynard2 @danawhite @ufc,” the No.5 ranked Moraes wrote to his rival after the news of Lineker’s injury first broke.
Rivera hasn’t flinched from that call-out, and in fact he’s now offered to fight Moraes at a catchweight if it ensures that the match-up will take place in just a few days time.
“Marlon, let’s do the fight at 140,” Rivera stated in a Twitter video. “You said you wanted the fight. Got to be professional. I’m giving you four pounds. 140. Let me know.”
it would be remarkable if Moraes does agree to a fight with Rivera as he’s already coming off two major fights against top bantamweight talents in the space of a month.
He first emerged with a split decision win over John Dodson back on November 11th, and then produced one of the most devastating knockouts in recent memory against Aljamain Sterling on December 9th, finishing him in 67 seconds with a knee to the face.
Unfortunately though, it seems that negotiations are starting to turn sour between the two, with a couple of exchanges on Twitter during Christmas day suggesting that the late replacement fight is now hanging by a thread.
“I give you 5 extra fucking pounds and you can’t make weight?” Rivera wrote on Twitter. “@MMARLONMORAES you still say no to the fight. Five extra pounds. And this after you say you want to fight me.
“Merry Christmas everybody!” Moraes responded. “@JimmieRivera135 now you fight on my terms. You turn down fight with me two times now I’m ready to fight you buddy on my terms not your terms I’m going to remind you of old memories you know what I’m sayin @danawhite @seanshelby @Mickmaynard2.”