Yet another familiar UFC name is headed to bare knuckle boxing.
Manager Malki Kawa told ‘The Schmo’ in an interview that former bantamweight contender Jimmie Rivera is signing with Bare Knuckle FC. This hasn’t been made official by BKFC yet and no further details were revealed.
Rivera (23-5) had his UFC contract expire following a Fight of the Night decision loss to Pedro Munhoz at UFC Vegas 27 in February. It was his third loss in his last four fights, but for context those defeats were to the aforementioned Munhoz, current champion Aljamain Sterling, and interim champion Petr Yan.
At the peak of Rivera’s UFC career, the New Jersey native had won his first five UFC fights as part of an overall 20-fight winning streak. Notable decisions over Pedro Munhoz, Urijah Faber, and Thomas Almeida put him in prime position to challenge for a title, but a knockout loss to Marlon Moraes set him back. Considering his final UFC win over Cody Stamann was at featherweight, his last official bantamweight win was a split decision over John Dodson in 2018.
Rivera joins a growing list of ex-UFC fighters who populate the BKFC roster. Among the notable UFC veterans who have pivoted to bare knuckle boxing are Mike Perry, Paige VanZant, Rachael Ostovich, Pearl Gonzalez, Hector Lombard, Alan Belcher, Joey Beltran, Johnny Bedford, Chad Mendes, and Thiago Alves.
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