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Jimmie Rivera vs. Aljamain Sterling announced for UFC’s ESPN debut

Aljamain Sterling
Aljamain Sterling (pictured) fights Jimmie Rivera on Feb. 17 in Phoenix live on ESPN
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The bantamweight contenders’ picture is going to be shaken up this February.

On Wednesday, the UFC announced that Jimmie Rivera (22-2) will fight Aljamain Sterling (16-3) at the promotion’s first-ever ESPN show, which is set to take place on Feb. 19 at the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix. The bout was first reported by azcentral.com.

Rivera and Sterling will both be looking to continue their winning ways. In September, Sterling defeated Cody Stamann with a rare “Suloev Stretch” kneebar to pick up his second straight win since a loss to Marlon Moraes at UFC Fresno. “Funk Master” has now won four of his last five and is 8-3 in the UFC overall.

This will also be a chance for Rivera to start a new streak after seeing a run of 20 consecutive victories snapped by Moraes in June. He bounced back with a unanimous decision win over John Dodson, which raised his Octagon mark to 6-1.

In the UFC’s official contenders’ rankings, Rivera currently sits at No. 5 with Sterling two spots behind him at No. 7.