EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Jimmie Rivera

Top bantamweight contender, Jimmie Rivera, took some time to talk to us about his cancelled bout with Bryan Caraway, his views on the bantamweight division and his plans for the future.


Jimmie Rivera
Credit: UFC

We were recently given the opportunity to sit down and talk to UFC bantamweight, Jimmie Rivera, who was willing to answer a few questions for us. Rivera is one of the best in his respective division and most recently reigned victorious over UFC legend, Urijah Faber.

“They’re all running scared”


You were recently booked to fight Bryan Caraway – you’ve been set up to fight Caraway multiple times now, following him pulling out with an injury, would you accept the bout again if it were offered to you?

“I wouldn’t take the fight again if it was offered to me. He has pulled out every time with an injury. If we were to schedule it again he’d probably find another injury excuse, may be his ankle or his shoulder or his v****a. He doesn’t want to fight me, he’s probably scared – that’s why he is faking his injuries.”


Following the fallout with CarawayJohn Dodson said he would step up and fight you on two weeks notice, what were your thoughts on that?

“I would have beaten Dodson – not just that but if I’d have beaten him, he would’ve thrown up excuses like he had only 2 weeks notice. That fight didn’t offer me much in the way of moving up in the rankings. I want the top guys in my division. I want the belt.”


You’ve been quoted saying you would have wanted Dominick Cruz after Caraway pulled out – Cruz is a former champion, what are your thoughts on him as a competitor?

“I would walk through Cruz. He struggled against Faber for 5 rounds whereas I went the distance with Faber in much more dominating fashion and that was with him throwing groin strikes and eye pokes. I retired his mentor and I would retire him. Cruz can’t box and all he does is go in for the takedown. I’ve called him out and he’s running scared.”


We recently saw a new 135-pound champion, Cody Garbrandt, what are your thoughts on him?

“I can beat Cody. I’ve already retired his mentor. Cody has a good record in this division but I have a better record at 135, I am 19-0. He is good, but I am great. He’s let the title win get to his head – he’s talking about these money fights, defend your title first – fight me. I’ve called him out and he has nothing to say. He’s running scared too.”


You’re very active on social media – you’ve recently been calling out T.J. Dillashaw, often questioning his abilities – what are your thoughts on him?

T.J. is running from me – I’ve been calling him out a lot and he’s not said anything. I’m a better fighter all-round than he is. He got beat by a guy who was away for two years and had a torn ACL. I’ve beaten T.J. in training – I remember thinking how good he could be, once we started training, his grappling wasn’t good enough and he hits like a girl. T.J. is scared of me.”


Your most recent victory came over a legend in Urijah Faber – that fight elevated you in the company as knocking off a big name expectedly would. Where do you feel you stand in the division?

“I feel as if I deserve to be fighting for the belt. T.J. dropped the belt to Cruz, Cruz dropped it to Cody and now those two are in for another title shot. I feel as if I could beat all of them. My aim is to win the title. I’m 19-0 at 135lbs – that’s the best record out there. I retired Urijah. I’ve called them all out and they’re all running scared.”


What is your opinion on the growing trend that is the “money fight”?

“I don’t care for money fights, I’m only in this to win the title and to be the best. This is a job to me. My main passion is teaching at my school and then this comes after that. I feel as if these money fights make it tough for people who just want to fight and climb the rankings.”


What are your thoughts on the larger figures in the way of Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey – do you think they’re good for the sport?

“It helps with getting the sport out there and recognised. It’s good for that reason. Though sometimes all the talk can go overboard, Conor can go overboard with some of the things he says.”


Would you ever consider moving up in weight class?

“No, I’m a 135 fighter and I’m happy to stick at that. If people would like to come up or down in weight to fight me then that’s great, we’ll fight. Though I wouldn’t move, myself.”


Do you have any favourite fighters you enjoy watching?

“I don’t have anyone in particular – I just love to see a good fight. I grew up watching GSP but I’m down for any good fights.”


What are your current plans going forward?

“I’d like to fight for the belt. Before that, I’d like to fight Cruz and retire him like I did to Faber. They’re all scared. I’m 19-0 at 135 for a reason. The record speaks for itself. Nobody is undefeated but Cody, I’d love to give him his first loss.”


When can we next expect to see you in the cage?

“Right now I have no idea – I would love to fight Cody when he is ready.”


What are your views on USADA?

“They need to stop coming to test so early in the morning [laughs]. It’s quite tough with supplements because you have to know what you’re taking. They give everyone this 20-page booklet with everything listed. The guys who sponsor me make everything in-house so I know it’s less likely to be tainted or it will contain something banned. It’s just important to declare everything you use.”


What’s most important to you in this career?

“I’m in this to become the best and to fight for the belt. I’m not chasing big pay days. The most important thing to me is family.”


What do you think of new owners, WME-IMG?

“It’s too early to say – they’ve not exactly done anything bad so that’s a positive. I guess we just have to give it time before we can judge that.”


We would like to say thanks to Jimmie for presenting us with this interview. You can follow him on Twitter: @JimmieRivera135

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EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Jimmie Rivera

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