Jimmie Rivera is one of the biggest prospects in the bantamweight division right now, coming off of a win over the now retired Urijah Faber at UFC 203.
The bantamweight star also had an opportunity to spar with former UFC Bantamweight Champion TJ Dillashaw, and Rivera states that the former champion doesn’t pack much of a punch.
"That was the only session I ever had with him, and we really just went in there and got our gear on, and it was like, ‘Oh, you got a partner? You wanna spar?' And we sparred. I remember it just being fun. He was trying to get good shots in, but I was just playing and having a good time. Throwing stuff, making him miss. Getting some kicks and punches off. I was just having fun. Did he bully me? No. Obviously he landed a couple of shots, but nothing that was devastating. That's when I realized that he doesn't hit hard. He doesn't hit hard, at all. If they said, ‘You're fighting Dillashaw tomorrow,' I would be like, ‘Alright, let's go! Let's do it.' You know? I don't have to worry about his shots. Yeah, he doesn't have that power. I mean, look at his rematch with Barao! Barao didn't drop. Dillashaw threw, like, 20 punches. Hit Barao. Barao was still standing. The ref had to stop the fight, because he doesn't have that punching power. You already know he doesn't have that punching power. Did he bully me? Nah, he didn't bully me at all. I mean, I had fun. I think the best thing he got was a high kick, but my arm was there. He got me a little off-balance. He hit me with a jab here and there, but I'm not gonna lie to you, that was pretty much it,” Rivera said to Bloody Elbow.
Rivera currently has no fights booked in the immediate future, but Dillashaw will be challenging Cody Garbrandt for the UFC Bantamweight Title in a few months.
Speaking of the aforementioned win over Urijah Faber at UFC 203, the victorious Rivera had an easier time than he thought he would have with the retired star.
"Well, he was a little easier of a fight," Rivera says. "Because he didn't have that much in his arsenal. He never evolved. He never grew, and got better as the years went on. He always stuck with the same things. So, it was kind of easy to figure him out. He threw a lot of right hands. He was a wrestler. And there was one other thing . . . oh, guillotines. He was really good at guillotines. So I worked nonstop wrestling. And I trained with a few people for that fight, and I wasn't even paying attention to what they were throwing half the time, I was just focused on the right hand."
Although he has no fight scheduled at the moment, the bantamweight star will ride a nineteen fight winning streak into his next Octagon appearance.