After months of failed attempts to book Jimmie Rivera vs. Marlon Moraes, the UFC has broken through at last and is on the verge of finalizing the bantamweight fight as the headliner for UFC Fight Night Utica on June 1, MMA Fighting has learned.
Rivera (21-1) and Moraes (20-5-1) have been entangled in a war of words dating back months. The UFC has been trying to book the fight for almost a year, however, they’ve been unsuccessful for various reasons every time.
Now, according to sources, the fight is all but signed and could be announced soon.
Rivera, the former Ring of Combat and CFFC bantamweight champion, has won his last 20 fights in a row, while Moraes, the former WSOF bantamweight champion, is 2-1 in the UFC. The winner is expected to be close to getting a 135-pound title shot.
The event will mark the promotion’s first in Utica, N.Y., and it will be held at the Adirondack Bank Center.