The sub-one minute knockout loss was a shocking one for Rivera to endure, but he says there were some issues leading into that encounter.
“Kind of a little bit of everything (went wrong), it could’ve been a mistake. I thought it was going to be a body kick and it kind of came up on an angle, I was dealing with some issues with the fight itself…some personal issues. It came down to (the fact that) I don’t think my complete focus was on the fight, made a mistake to learn from…got back up and signed for another fight like three weeks later. It’s a live and learn kind of thing, it is what it is…unfortunately, that’s the sport. Thank God that the only thing I walked out of there with was a little bump on the head, no concussion…no nothing. Walked out of there fine, just the emotions kind of get to you. A little upset, a little upset about the loss…that’s it,” says Rivera in an exclusive interview with Fightful’s James Lynch.
That loss at UFC Fight Night Utica was the first defeat that Rivera suffered in almost a decade, with the only other setback coming to Jason McLean at Ring Of Combat 22 in November of 2008.
Rivera wants to get back to his winning ways and he has a gameplan to get back on track against Dodson.
“I’m always going to look for the finish, but I just got to take my time with him. He is a very fast dude, jumps in and out and stuff like that. So just take my time and pick him apart,” says Rivera.
UFC 228 takes place on Saturday, September 8 from the American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Texas with Tyron Woodley and Darren Till headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.