It won’t get name-checked among the great fights in mixed martial arts history, but Jimmie Rivera got an important win Saturday night.
And while it wasn’t the most action-packed affair, Rivera got back in the win column and back on track in the bantamweight division. Rivera earned a pair of 30-27s and a 29-28 for a unanimous decision.
The bout was a story of Rivera’s forward pressure against Dodson’s speed and counters. Rivera spent the bulk of the bout dictating the tempo. Crucially, he also landed a significant number of hard leg kicks over the course of the fight, which began to wear Dodson down as the bout moved on.
That was pretty much the extent of it, as the bout remained a track meet for just about the full duration of the bout, to the impatience of the crowd at American Airlines Center.
Rivera, whose loss to Moraes snapped a 20-fight win streak, improved to 22-2, 6-1 in the UFC. It was his 16th career decision victory. Dodson has now dropped two out of his past three. The TUF 14 winner and former two-time flyweight title challenger is now 9-5 in the UFC.