At 5-0 in the UFC, Jimmie Rivera was poised for the biggest fight of his career against Dominick Cruz at UFC 219 -- until an injury forced Cruz out of the fight.
Rivera's road to the UFC Bantamweight Championship doesn't get any easier, as hard-hitting John Lineker stepped in for Cruz. However, top-10 Aljamain Sterling thew his hat in the ring, only to be shot down.
"He's a sucky fighter. He beat a nobody and a washed up Barao and he wants to fight me. When I got to the UFC, he didn't want to fight. I don't really care, he can wait. I'll fight him when I'm the champ. I'll fight everyone that calls me out when I'm the champ. My primary goal is to get the belt, not go backwards, and he's going backwards," Rivera told Fightful.com's James Lynch.
Rivera said that he stayed on the UFC 219 card because he sees himself as a team player, but wasn't really considering fighting John Lineker prior.
"I was never looking at him. I know people like his style because he just bangs," said Rivera, before breaking down the division, making the point that nobody else at the top of the division is on anything resembling the winning streak that he is (at five in the UFC)
"I'm want to finish him. It's all what happens that day. It's MMA, anything can happen. My main thing is to go in there and whip that ass," said Rivera.
The #4-ranked Bantamweight also revealed to Fightful that his walking weight is under 150 pounds to cut down to 135-136 for his fights.
In the full interview, Jimmie Rivera (21-1) talks about his big fight with John Lineker (30-8) at UFC 219 on December 30, his day job, who he's working with in his training camp, how he'll celebrate his Christmas and what he's been watching on Netflix.