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UFC on FOX 18 live blog: Iuri Alcantara vs. Jimmie Rivera

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Iuri Alcantara will clash with Jimmie Rivera on the UFC on FOX 18 main card.
Iuri Alcantara will clash with Jimmie Rivera on the UFC on FOX 18 main card.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

This is the UFC on FOX 18 live blog for Iuri Alcantara vs. Jimmie Rivera, a bantamweight bout at Saturday night's UFC event at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

Alcantara, who has won four of his past five fights, will face Rivera, who has won 17 straight fights, on the main card.

Check out the UFC on FOX 18 live blog below.

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Round 1: Referee for this one is Liam Kerrigan. Rivera got a huge pop from the Garden State faithful. They touch gloves. Alcantara holds the center, and he slams a knee home on a Rivera advance. Rivera leg kick and then a spinning backfist. That got the crowd interested. A chant breaks out for him. Big overhand right from Alcantara, and then a big left counter from Rivera. Heavy leather trade there. Rivera with a very nice one-two, and lands on both. Might have wobbled Alcantara a little bit. Now he sizes the Brazilian up. Whiffs on a leg kick, then has his follow up kick caught and nearly eats a right hand for the trouble. Big body kick from Rivera, but he takes a straight left counter. Short right cross from Rivera lands flush, and Alcantara rolls out. Rivera stalks forward, and Alcantara throws a kick to free himself of the pursuit. Now Rivera comes in on fence and lands four unanswered shots, three to the face and a kick to the midsection. Another solid combination from Rivera, which warms the crowd. Alcantara with a very loud body kick, and Rivera rolls right through it. Now we have an eyepoke; looks like Alcantara might have got his fingers into Rivera's eye. They are back, and a wild exchange at the end of the round ends with Rivera landing a big takedown at the end. MMA Fighting scores R1 for Rivera, 10-9.

Round 2: Round two, and Rivera is fired up. Was bouncing in his corner between rounds. High kick misses from Alcantara, and Rivera keeps his forward-moving course. Trying to find an opening. They trade in the middle, and Rivera might have gotten the better of things there. Big shots from Rivera. He goes to the body with a left, then follows up with a heater up top with his right. Now he peels around, and tries it again at the other end of the cage. Alcantara has been taking some punches. Body kick from Alcantara. When Rivera gets inside, it's been pretty explosive. Alcantara trying to keep him now at the end of his punches. Pair or rights from Rivera, followed by a leg kick that buckles Alcantara for a moment. Now to the fence, with Rivera pressing into Alcantara, the Brazilian with a whizzer as Rivera thuds his knee into his thigh. Short lefts from Rivera, who still has his hulk pressed into Alcantara on the fence. Crowd doesn't love the stalemate, even with their guy in the better position. Referee separates them, and away we go. Right hand from Rivera. Alcantara storms forth with a body kick, and they scramble. Rivera tries for a takedown, and they break again. Stiff left from Alcantara drops Rivera straight backwards! He gets right back up, though, and then snatches Alcantara's legs out from under him and drops him on the fence. What a sequence there. That punch stunned him, but he was quick to recover himself, and now he's pressing on Alcantara's back. He lands a couple of shots, and as they break the round ends. MMA Fighting scores R2 for Rivera, 10-9 (20-18 overall).

Round 3: Final round, as the seconds scramble out of the Octagon. Rivera still hopped. This time it's Alcantara who initiates with a head kick, which glances off Rivera's forearms. Rivera presses forward, and Alcantara nearly loses his balance. Now Rivera headhunts with a left, and that connects. Another "Let's Go Jimmie" chant livens up the Pru. Alcantara after a couple of long jabs connects up top with a kick, again partially blocked. Rivera catches a kick and spins Alcantara down to the canvas, but only briefly. Alcantara circles. It's still the hometown guy pressing forward. Midway through the third, and Rivera moves in with a pair of snapping rights. Alcantara wheels around and now comes out to the middle. It's Rivera on his bike, as they exchange front kicks. Leg kick from Alcantara lands. Rivera with a flurry on the fence, and on the parting shot lands big with his left. Crowd liked that. Oblique kicks to Alcantara's knee, now. Alcantara taking the heat as it's dished and now there's a mad scramble. They hit the mat for a second. Now they are back up and Rivera grabs a single-leg, and drives Alcantara to the fence. Final seconds. Alcantara can't pry the tenacious New Jersey native off him. They break and Rivera slams home a parting barrage as the fight ends. Alcantara raises his arms. Close, close round. MMA Fighting scores R3 for Alcantara, 10-9 (29-28 for Rivera overall)

UFC on FOX 18 official results: Jimmie Rivera def. Iuri Alcantara via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)