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UFC 228 live blog: Jimmie Rivera vs. John Dodson

Jimmie Rivera faces off with John Dodson ahead of their bantamweight bout at UFC 228 on Saturday at the American Airlines Center in Dallas
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

This is the UFC 228 live blog for Jimmie Rivera vs. John Dodson, a bantamweight bout at Saturday’s UFC event at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.

Rivera, who is coming off of his first loss after winning 20 straight fights, faces Dodson, a two-time flyweight title challenger who has alternated wins and losses in his last seven appearances, on the main card.

Check out the UFC 228 live blog below.

Round 1: The referee for this bout is Dan Miragliotta. Rivera using leg kicks to score early, both fighters circling. Inside leg kick by Dodson. “The Magician” catches a kick and goes for a trip, chasing Rivera to the cage, but Rivera keeps his balance and they reset in the center of the cage. High kick by Dodson partially connects. Rivera goes for a body lock, but Dodson blocks the slam attempt. Leg kicks are working for Rivera. Counter punch by Rivera and he follows up with a body shot. Snapping inside leg kick by Rivera. Dodson lands a nice lunging right hand with 30 seconds remaining. Rivera ends the round by connecting with a couple of quick left hooks.

MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Rivera.

Round 2: Rivera scoring with outside leg kicks. They exchange punches and both men have some success. Dodson catches a kick and throws a left hand. Body kick by Dodson. Dodson connects with a punch to the body, he’s dodging in and out and Rivera beckons him to bring it on. Dodson throws a head kick that Rivera almost ducks into, but it’s mostly blocked. Rivera walking Dodson down, neither man throwing much. Another body kick for Dodson and he quickly hops. Rivera with a low kick that catches Dodson’s groin. There’s a brief pause in the action and the bout resumes with about 30 seconds to go. Dodson lands another solid body kick. Close round.

MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Dodson. Overall, 19-19.

Round 3: Counter left by Rivera has Dodson stumbling, though it looked like he was just off-balance. Straight right down the middle lands for Rivera. He follows up with a good shot to the body. Now it’s Dodson who looks tentative. Rivera with another good body punch and then he fires some strikes up high to back Dodson up. Lots of movement from Dodson, but he cannot get past Rivera’s jab in this round. Body-head punch combination scores for Rivera. Rivera just walking Dodson down, probing with his jab. Rivera with some big punches late, nothing lands solid. They trade body shots in the clinch as the buzzer sounds.

MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Rivera. Overall, 29-28 Rivera.

Official result: Jimmie Rivera def. John Dodson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)