This Friday, the UFC returns to New York State for the eighth time since the state’s 19-year ban on MMA was lifted in 2016.
In the main event, Jimmie Rivera (21-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) will take on former WSOF bantamweight champion Marlon Moraes (20-5-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) in a fight that could decide the next title contender at bantamweight.
Let’s take a look at the recent results of the two men in Friday night’s main event:
Rivera earned a unanimous decision victory over Iuri Alcântara in January 2016- a bout which won that event’s Fight of the Night bonus- before scoring a win via the same method against former WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber in September that year.
Undefeated in professional MMA since 2008, Rivera recorded his third consecutive unanimous decision victory (and his twentieth consecutive win overall) with a win over Thomas Almeida in July last year.
Moraes suffered a split-decision defeat in his UFC debut against perennial top contender Raphael Assunção in June 2017- a verdict that sixteen out of seventeen polled media members disagreed with.
In his next fight, Moraes found himself on the winning end of a split-decision against John Dodson, before returning to the cage just 29 days later to score of the most memorable knockouts of the year against Aljamain Sterling.
Here’s a look at how these two fighters fared when competing against common opponents shared throughout their careers. On the left of the graphic, you’ll see how Rivera fared against any shared opponents and on the right, you’ll see Moraes’ results against the same men.
Rivera and Moraes share just one common opponent; Carson Beebe. Moraes scored a first-round KO over Beebe in just 32 seconds back in 2013. Rivera, however, cut that time in half, taking just 16 seconds to record his own first-round KO victory over Beebe in May 2015.
The Dwyer Score
Each event, I calculate a ‘Dwyer Score’ for the card. It essentially gives a numeric value to the momentum of fighters competing at any one event. I do this by assigning a figure to each fighter’s current streak; a fighter on a five-fight winning streak contributes +5 to an event’s score, whilst a fighter on a two-fight losing streak contributes -2 to the score. Only UFC results are considered and a fighter coming off a no-contest, a draw, or a bout with another promotion has a streak of 0. When you tally up the scores for every fighter on a card, you get a total for the event- the ‘Dwyer Score.’ This score does not claim to predict or measure the quality or excitement of any one card, but it does give you an idea of the general momentum of fighters heading into a specific event. The graphic to the above-right displays some of the highest-scoring events of all time, to help give some context to this score.
UFC Fight Night 131: Jimmie Rivera vs. Marlon Moraes posts a solid score of +11.
This score ranks 17th out of 42 events in the last year and 4th out of 24 Fight Night events in that same period.
Here’s a look at how this score compares to other events’ scores over the past year:
As you can see, this score far exceeds the +2.4 average for Fight Nights in the last twelve months and also beats the +9.6 average for all events in that same time frame.
The highest individual contributor to the score is Jimmie Rivera (+5), just ahead of Gregor Gillespie, Vinc Pichel and David Teymur (all +4).
The lowest individual scorer is Gleison Tibau (-3), with Walt Harris, Jake Ellenberger, Ben Saunders, Desmond Green and Jessica Aguilar (all -2) close behind.
Four fighters are making their UFC debuts this weekend, including former Titan FC flyweight and bantamweight champion Jose Torres and former Cage Warriors bantamweight champion Nathaniel Wood.
Enjoy the fights!