Jimmie Rivera was set to fight former UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz at UFC 219, but then Cruz pulled out of the fight due to a broken arm.
The bantamweight contender believes his onetime opponent’s fighting style is what leads to his constant injuries.
“I’m not trying to be a dick about it or anything like that, but he’s out, he’s hurt, and he’s really accident-prone,” Rivera said to MMA Junkie. “He always gets hurt; it’s always one thing or another. It comes down to his style of fighting. My coach and I sat down and studied it getting ready for this fight, and it’s not practical. He’s more injury-prone than he realizes with his style of fighting.”
Rivera is expected to remain on the UFC 219 card, although no opponent has been named for him to fight at this time. Despite the lost opportunity to fight the former champion, the bantamweight star still wishes Cruz a speedy recovery.
“I have nothing against him,” Rivera said. “It’s a game, and I know I have to go out there and talk smack on Twitter, but I hope he has a speedy recovery. No one likes to be hurt. It sucks to be hurt, and I’ve been there. It sucks. Hopefully he has a speedy recovery.”
UFC 219 takes place on Saturday, December 30 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada with no main event announced at this time. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.