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Jimmie Rivera vs. Thomas Almeida set for UFC on FOX 25 on Long Island

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UFC on FOX 18 Weigh-ins
Jimmie Rivera is getting the fight he wanted against Thomas Almeida.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Jimmie Rivera got his wish.

The top bantamweight was hoping for a matchup with Thomas Almeida at UFC on FOX 25 on July 22 on Long Island — and that’s the exact fight that will happen, UFC officials confirmed with MMA Fighting on Tuesday. Newsday’s Mark La Monica was the first to report the news.

Rivera told MMA Fighting last month that he was targeting a bout with Almeida for Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y. Rivera is a New Jersey native, owns a Tiger Schulmann’s MMA gym in Manhattan and lives in Brooklyn.

“I think that’s a nice next step,” Rivera said.

Almeida told MMA Fighting’s Guilherme Cruz in a recent interview that he, too, was interested in facing Rivera.

"I think it would be a great fight for the fans and for us,” Almeida said. "This fight makes sense. I’d love it. He’s a great athlete and is coming off a win over [Urijah] Faber, so he made a name for himself with that win. He likes to stand and trade like me, so it would be a great fight.”

Rivera (20-1) defeated Faber by unanimous decision at UFC 203 last September. He’s a perfect 4-0 in the UFC and has not lost a fight since 2008, his second pro outing. Rivera, 27, is a former King of the Cage and Cage Fury Fighting Championships titleholder.

Almeida (22-1) is coming off a second-round TKO of Albert Morales last November. The Brazilian’s lone loss in the UFC came to current champion Cody Garbrandt. Almeida, 25, is one of the most exciting strikers in all of MMA.

UFC on FOX 25 does not yet have an official headliner. The card will also feature a light heavyweight bout pitting Gian Villante and Patrick Cummins.