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Morning Report: Jimmie Rivera says ‘full of sh*t’ Marlon Moraes refused 145 pound fight at UFC 219

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Jimmie Rivera did not have the best Christmas.

Over the weekend, Rivera was subject to some bad news when John Lineker was forced out of their scheduled fight this weekend due to a tooth infection. Lineker himself was already a replacement for former bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, leaving Rivera in the lurch when just a few weeks ago he had a title eliminator bout.

With just a few days left before UFC 219, opportunities for Rivera to find a suitable replacement opponent seemed thin on the ground but then fifth-ranked Marlon Moraes offered to step in over Twitter and it looked like Rivera had found his dance partner, even affording Moraes a few extra pounds for the short-notice fight.

Moraes has been busy the last few months, fighting John Dodson at UFC Norfolk in November and then jumping in as a late-notice replacement against Aljamain Sterling earlier this month at UFC Fresno. Back-to-back wins over ranked competition rocketed Moraes up the rankings and a victory of Rivera could have put him as next in line for a bantamweight title shot but with less than a week until fight day, the weight cut seemed to be an issue for Moraes, something Rivera was willing to facilitate by offering a 140 pound catchweight fight.

Still, according to Rivera, Moraes wanted more of an allowance which and this time Moraes even responded with a video saying that he would force Rivera to fight on his terms since Rivera was the one who wanted the fight.

Moraes has been seeking a fight with Rivera since he made his debut in the UFC earlier this year, at one point hoping Rivera would be the one to welcome him into the octagon. The fight had yet to materialize and Moraes seemed to enjoy using his leverage to force Rivera to concede even more, something Rivera did eventually acquiesce to.

But it looks like that may not have been enough. Later in the evening, Rivera returned to social media, posting that Moraes turned down the fight at 145 pounds and explaining that he was still out in Las Vegas and ready to fight, but leaving it unclear on whether he would be accepting another short-notice opponent.

But if Rivera is willing to accept a fight other than the Moraes one, he doesn’t have to look far. Another highly ranked bantamweight jumped at the opportunity to re-insert himself in the title picture after the Rivera-Moraes fight seemingly fell through, former two-time flyweight title challenger John Dodson.

Dodson was on the receiving end of the controversial split decision that Moraes won at UFC Norfolk and is currently the eighth-ranked bantamweight in the world. With most of the fighters currently ranked above Dodson either out or uninterested in taking a fight on 5 days’ notice, “The Magician” could prove to be the best option for Rivera if he does want to compete at UFC 219. But while Rivera may still accept that fight, he appears to be eyeing bigger game instead.


MUST-READ STORIES

Sad. Chael Sonnen is “bummed” a potential fight with Chuck Liddell won’t happen.

Boxing Day. Cris Cyborg wants to test herself in boxing like Conor McGregor.

Ready. Mackenzie Dern believes she’s ready for the UFC already.

Stay. Jennifer Maia explains why she turned down UFC fight to remain in Invicta.

No. 1. Josh Emmett is hoping for a top contender fight against Brian Ortega.


VIDEO STEW

UFC 219 Countdown.

Rumble talking about his favorite fights.

Rizin is coming.

Dana Claus.

Freddie shutting it down.


LISTEN UP

The MMA Hour. The year’s best interviews from the best in the business.

The Co-Main Event. A particularly interesting Christmas Spectacular.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

How the MMA world celebrated the holiday season.

Told my mom at 10yrs Old I would buy her a house! This is a my most memorable Christmas I @mommawoodd cashes in on a 25yr old Promise! #GodIsAmazing #AlmostGotMe #Allergies ‍♂️

A post shared by Tyron Woodley (@twooodley) on Dec 24, 2017 at 7:37am PST

Happy Christmas everyone ❤️ I had a special day with my son, my family and my friends! I hope you all had a great day!

A post shared by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma) on Dec 25, 2017 at 4:44pm PST

Christmas Crew 🙂 “The best never rest” – Randy Couture @randycouturemma

A post shared by Urijah Faber (@urijahfaber) on Dec 25, 2017 at 3:59pm PST

Congratulations!

Vicious.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Ross Pearson (19-14) vs. Mizuto Hirota (18-8-2); UFC 221, Feb. 10.

Paddy Pimblett (13-2) vs. Alex Savvidis (16-6-1); Cage Warriors 90, Feb. 24.

Nasrat Haqparast (8-2) vs. Alex Reyes (13-3); UFC London, March 17.


FINAL THOUGHTS

I hope everyone had a great long weekend. We’re back at it again to close the year out with another quality PPV, this one headlined by one of the best WMMA fights ever. Should be a good one.

Take it easy and see y’all tomorrow.


If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram, add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting, and like us on Facebook.



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