The UFC 238 PPV main card is in progress, and the #9 ranked bantamweight Petr Yan just defeated the #7 ranked Jimmie Rivera. It has taken less than one year from Yan to go from an unranked unknown to possible title contender. Yan has been hyper-active to extend his winning streak to five. Before that, the #11 ranked heavyweight Tai Tuivasa and the #13 ranked Blagoy Ivanov waged war for three-rounds. The bout mostly took place on the feet, with each big man having their moments of hurting the other. When the dust settled, it was Ivanov who walked away with the decision win. The Bulgarian has now won two-straight as he climbs up the UFC’s heavyweight ladder.
Petr Yan def. Jimmie Rivera by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2): Bantamweight
Rivera was the more active fighter right out of the gate. He was moving around a great deal, giving his opponent a lot of different looks. It seemed to be preventing Yan from settling in. Just when it seemed as if Rivera was on his way to winning the round, a looping left hand from Yan dropped him. Rivera recovered just before the round ended.
Rivera wobbled Yan early in the second round with the hands, and followed up with a damaging low leg kick. Yan switched stances to recover, then began to return fire. He blasted the body of Rivera with kicks, and then caught him clean up high. Towards the end of the round, Yan dropped Rivera up against the cage. Yan landed a few ground strikes before the round ended. Rivera marched forward to kick off the third round but Yan was hard to hit. Both men were winging shots. Rivera was landing but Yan ate them without issue. Yan was the one who was doing more damage when he landed. Yan even shot in for a takedown to initiate a least second scramble as time ticked away.
Déjà vu!@PetrYanUFC drops Rivera at the end of the round. #UFC238 pic.twitter.com/iiciClUD99— UFC (@ufc) June 9, 2019
HE TAGGED HIM!— UFC (@ufc) June 9, 2019
Rivera is saved by the bell as we go to round two. #UFC238 pic.twitter.com/VxqzbkgCbf
Blagoy Ivanov def. Tai Tuivasa by unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28): Heavyweight
Tuivasa pressed forward and shoved his opponent up against the cage. They broke apart and Tuivasa rushed in and got clipped by an Ivanov haymaker. Tuivasa quickly stood back up and went back to shoving his foe against the fence. Back in open space, Tuivasa would rush in with strikes, but often ate a counter for his troubles.
Tuivasa came out effectively chucking inside leg kicks. He built upon the kicks with a crisp one-two that wobbled Ivanov. Tuivasa was unable to capitalize on his moment and began to slow down, and Ivanov began to punch his way back into the fight. Ivanov locked up a guillotine as time clicked away, and held it a little bit after the bell. Tuivasa actually tapped, but again, it was after the bell.
The final round saw Tuivasa press his opponent up against the cage again, but Ivanov threatened with a guillotine to switch the position. He was able to score with a set of knees to the head from the clinch, but Tuivasa wore it well and escaped into open space. Tuivasa went back to the inside leg kick and found success. Then, the athletes began going one for one, slugging it out until the clock wound down.
"This is crazy!"— UFC (@ufc) June 9, 2019
These heavyweights are slugging it out in round 3️⃣! #UFC238 pic.twitter.com/rAzeaoadlu
DROPPED HIM! #UFC238 pic.twitter.com/WmAkL5ejpn— UFC (@ufc) June 9, 2019