In just over one year's time, UFC bantamweight Jimmie El Terror Rivera has gone from his promotional debut to a Pay-Per-View main card match with the number two ranked guy on the planet, Urijah Faber. Bloody Elbow's Eddie Mercado spoke with Rivera ahead of his UFC 203 bout with Faber to discuss the origins of the bout, getting ducked by certain competitors, and where El Terror ranks himself among the list of top bantamweights.
Interview: #13 UFC Bantamweight Jimmie Rivera UFC 203 **AUDIO ONLY**
Jimmie Rivera said the UFC had initially offered him a fight with Bryan Caraway but Caraway rejected the offer; Urijah Faber was game:
"They offered me a couple of people already and I said yes but they said no. Actually, they offered me [Bryan] Caraway; Caraway obviously said no. It's a dangerous fight for him and he wants to pick and choose his fights. So they had four other guys so Sean Shelby was like, 'if Caraway doesn't want to take the fight then who would you want to fight?' I said well out of those four names Urijah Faber was at the top of the list. I said well, if he [Caraway] doesn't want to take the fight then I would want to fight Faber and it would be great."
The UFC's #13 ranked bantamweight unveiled a few fighters that he feels have ducked him:
"I think he [Bryan Caraway] just doesn't want to fight me because he knows it's a tough fight and he knows I can beat him. He doesn't want to take that loss. You ever notice he always picks and chooses his fights? [Aljamain] Sterling the same way. They offered me Sterling before; he said no. Caraway said no a couple of times. Mizugaki, I was supposed to fight Mizugaki but he said no; I said yes. I pretty much said yes to everybody they gave me... I'm pretty much down to fight whoever, just give me time to train and that's it."
Don't expect to see Jimmie Rivera compete in Brazil again anytime soon:
The UFC has Jimmie Rivera ranked at number 13 but where does he rank himself?
"I believe I'm up there with the top five. I just kind of have to work my way up there and get the fights that help me get to the top five and hopefully a title shot. I told people numerous times, it's kind of hard in the UFC. You're fighting the best first of all. You're fighting the best out there. It's not like other promotions. I've been in so many promotions where you get a fight, you beat the person, and now you have a title shot. There's a lot of people to work your way up to the top top. So I think I'm in the top five. I just got to get the right fights and this was the right fight. I'm so happy it fell into my lap and I'm happy Urijah Faber took the fight. I really appreciate it."
Watch the #2 and #13 ranked UFC bantamweights collide at UFC 203 live on Pay-Per-View on September 10, 2016. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for all of your event coverage including interviews, results, highlights, and more! The full interview can be seen at the top of the page.