Despite a flurry of activity on social media to try and salvage Jimmie Rivera’s trip to Nevada, it looks like “El Terror” is out of luck.
Rivera was supposed to be fighting John Lineker at UFC 219 on Saturday at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, but a tooth infection forced Lineker to withdraw from the bout with less than a week to go before the event. Though it sounded like fellow bantamweight contender Marlon Moraes was volunteering to step up and replace Lineker, somewhere the signals got crossed and now it’s all but certain that Rivera will not be competing this weekend.
Sources told MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani that there is almost no chance Rivera competes at UFC 219 and that the fighter has already been told to stop cutting weight by matchmaker Sean Shelby.
According to Rivera, it is Moraes who decided not to sign on for the matchup despite Rivera being willing to fight at 145 pounds to accommodate Moraes potentially taking a booking on short notice. Rivera later tweeted that he is setting his sights on the three biggest names at 135 pounds, current champion T.J. Dillashaw, and former champions Cody Garbrandt and Dominick Cruz (Cruz and Rivera were actually scheduled to fight at UFC 219 before Cruz suffered an arm injury and was replaced by Lineker).
The UFC has not officially made any announcement regarding the status of the Rivera-Lineker bout.