After numerous counts of going back-and-forth on social media, a grudge match between bantamweights Jimmie Rivera and Aljamain Sterling is in the works for UFC Phoenix.
The fight was first reported by AZCentral.com, but has yet to be announced by UFC officials. Taking place on the UFC’s debut card on ESPN television, it will be the UFC’s first event in the Arizonan city of Phoenix in over two years.
After going on a twenty-fight win streak, including wins against Urijah Faber and Thomas Almeida, Rivera (22-2) suffered a first-round knockout loss to Marlon Moraes in June. “El Terror” rebounded off this loss by picking up a unanimous decision win against John Dodson at UFC 228 in October.
Sterling (16-3) also fought at UFC 228, picking up an impressive “banana split” submission over Cody Stamann. Getting the nod against Brett Johns before that, much like his opponent Rivera he last suffered defeat to Moraes by way of first-round knockout.
UFC on ESPN 1 will take place at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona on February 17th. Two other fights have been made official for the card, a bantamweight bout between Lauren Murphy and Ashlee Evans-Smith, and a strawweight fight between Jodie Esquibel and Jessica Penne.