As UFC Fight Island hosts its second event of the week, two of the top Bantamweights in the world go head to head in a bout that promises fireworks. Will Jimmie ‘El Terror’ Rivera be able to snap his 3-fight losing streak? Or will Cody ‘The Spartan’ Stamann continue his fabulous run of form?
Jimmie Rivera exploded onto the UFC scene in 2015 when he knocked out Marcus Brimage in the first round at UFC Fight Night 72. Five years after his debut, Rivera has produced impressive wins over Uriah Faber, Thomas Almedia and John Dodson. Rivera holds a professional record of 22-4.
‘El Terror’ was last in action at UFC 238 where he fought current Bantamweight champion, Petr Yan. Rivera lost the fight by unanimous decision and struggled to build up any momentum. The Russian Champion dropped Rivera twice in the fight which led to a very near stoppage.
Rivera comes from a kickboxing and MMA background, so I expect him to keep the fight on its feet, use his slick footwork to get inside the pocket in order to trade with Stamann, and look to land some haymakers. However, as Rivera is a smart fighter, he will not rush the fight and will pick his shots with precision. If he wins, it may be a much-needed confidence boost.
In the opposite corner, Cody Stamann (19-2-1) comes into this fight on terrific form, winning three out of his last four fights including a draw with Song Yadong. On his last outing, ‘The Spartan’ cruised to a unanimous decision win over UFC veteran Brian Kelleher at UFC 250.
The Michigan born star, began boxing when he was just 16 years of age and then completed in Wrestling at high school. However, when MMA was introduced to Michigan, his mother encouraged him to train the art in order to keep him out of trouble in life. This shows just how well rounded Stamann is.
Stamann heads into this fight against Rivera with some added motivation due to the tragic passing of his younger brother just a week before UFC 250.
Due to his well-rounded ability, I expect him to keep the fight standing in the opening minutes of the fight but will certainly look to take Rivera down. However, due to Rivera’s 95% takedown defense, this may prove challenging for the number 9 ranked Bantamweight.
I expect the contest to be a standing affair as the two will look to trade strikes but due to Rivera’s clear advantage on the feet, Cody will try to take Rivera down. As Rivera has one of the best takedown defenses in the division, the fight will be won on the feet in which Rivera has the advantage.
My pick: Rivera by Decision