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BKFC signs UFC veteran Jimmie Rivera

The former top ranked bantamweight will try his luck without gloves.

Jimmie Rivera when he fought Pedro Munhoz at the UFC APEX.
Jimmie Rivera when he fought Pedro Munhoz at the UFC APEX.
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Bare Knuckle Fighting Championships have picked up another former UFC fighter for their roster. MMA Junkie reports that Jimmie Rivera has signed with the bare-knuckle boxing outfit and it scheduled to debut for the promotion on May 6.

Rivera’s debut fight is slated for BKFC 25 in Orlando, FL. His opponent is yet to be announced.

Ex-UFC fighters are becoming more commonplace in BKFC. Among the most notable who have made the switch are Chad Mendes, Paige VanZant, Mike Perry, Thiago Alves, Rachael Ostovitch and Hector Lombard.

After a failed attempt to get into The Ultimate Fighter house in 2011, Rivera debuted in the UFC in 2015. In his first fight he handed Marcus Brimage a first round KO.

‘El Terror’ won his next four fights to catapult up the UFC’s bantamweight rankings and into the title picture. During that run he scored wins over Pedro Munhoz, Thomas Almeida and Urijah Faber.

Rivera’s momentum was stunted by a Marlon Moraes head kick in 2018. Rivera rebounded from that disappointment with a win over John Dodson, but then lost back-to-back contests to future champions Aljimain Sterling and Petr Yan (both by unanimous decision).

In 2020 he beat Cody Stamann by unanimous decision. In February 2021 he lost a unanimous decision to former foe Munhoz. With that fight Rivera fought out his UFC contract.

BKFC 25 does not have any bouts currently announced. BKFC’s next show is BKFC 23 on April 8. That event is headlined by former Bellator mainstays Mike Richman and Dave Rickels.