On the UFC Vegas 20 main card we got to see a matchup between two top ten bantamweights. Pedro Munhoz (18-5, 1 NC) took on Jimmie Rivera (23-4). This was actually the second time that these two met inside the octagon.
The two first met in the UFC back in 2015. that night, Rivera was able to win by split decision. The rematch has been scheduled a couple of times but fell through each time. This booking was originally supposed to take place at UFC 258.
However, a positive COVID test pushed the matchup back to tonight. Rivera was looking to pickup his second consecutive win and build his case towards a top five opponent. Jimmie Rivera has only lost three times in the UFC and those three losses were to Marlon Moraes, Petr Yan, and Aljamain Sterling.
Rivera has some big wins including the victory over Pedro Munhoz. Munhoz was looking for redemption against Rivera tonight and redemption against the judges from his last fight. The last time we saw Pedro Munhoz, he dropped a razor thin split decision to former UFC champion Frankie Edgar.
The loss was the second straight loss for Munhoz. At UFC Vegas 20, he was looking to get back on track and looking to get closer to the top five and an eventual title shot at 135.
UFC Vegas 20 Recap
The UFC Vegas 20 bantamweight contest kicked off with a touch of the gloves. Munhoz opened with a big headkick and the two started fast. Rivera and Munhoz traded big calf kicks and then Rivera cracked Munhoz with a couple good shots.
Munhoz started looking for kicks while Rivera was content with swinging big punches. A clean combination from Rivera is countered by a big calf kick from Pedro Munhoz. These two were going for it in the first two minutes.
Munhoz is wobbled by a massive shot from Rivera. However, Munhoz quickly regained his composure. A big right hand lands for Jimmie Rivera. Both men then exchange another round of big calf kicks. A nice body shot lands for Pedro Munhoz.
Munhoz pushes forward and lands another nice body shot. The two men then sit down on their shots and exchange power punches. Another stiff calf kick lands for Munhoz and Rivera is hurt. A nice jab from Munhoz and Rivera can’t put pressure on his leg. Incredible first round, but I lean 1-0 Munhoz at UFC Vegas 20.
The second round at UFC Vegas 20 started with more pressure from Pedro Munhoz. Munhoz went right back to looking for calf kicks. Rivera is able to land a takedown, however, Munhoz forced a scramble by going for a leglock.
Both men stood up and Munhoz landed a massive knee. Rivera then pushed forward with a couple of clean shots. Munhoz countered with another big calf kick. As Munhoz goes for a head kick, Rivera lands his own calf kick that drops Munhoz.
Munhoz gets immediately up and lands a nasty calf kick that really wobbled Rivera. Rivera immediately shot for a takedown, but he couldn’t land it. Munhoz was just plotting forward looking for his openings. Rivera was being very active with his strikes despite being hurt.
A massive calf kick and left hook lands for Pedro Munhoz. Rivera pushes forward, but Munhoz briefly drops him with another leg kick. Both men exchange big shots with thirty seconds left in the round. Good shot lands for Rivera before the final bell, however, it’s 2-0 Munhoz at UFC Vegas 20.
Entering the final round at UFC Vegas 20, Jimmie Rivera needed a finish on my scorecard. He pushed forward to start the final round looking for that finish. He landed a few clean shots, but Munhoz took them well.
Munhoz retook the center of the octagon and he went right back to looking for calf kicks. A headkick from Munhoz just misses. Munhoz seems to be mixing up the kicks to all levels here in the final round. Rivera then pushed forward with a few big shots.
A big uppercut lands for Rivera that briefly stiffens up Munhoz. However, Munhoz went right back to pushing forward. A stiff jab lands for Pedro Munhoz. A big calf kick lands that caused Rivera to collapse. Rivera got up extremely gingerly.
Another nice jab lands for Pedro Munhoz. Rivera finally switches to southpaw and Munhoz lands a big body kick as soon as he does. Rivera moves forward and throws some major heat. A big left from Rivera hurts Pedro Munhoz.
However, Rivera couldn’t take advantage. Rivera throws a few more massive shots, but Munhoz counters with big shots of his own. Both men swing massively to end the final round and that fight was incredible. Pedro Munhoz should get the nod here at UFC Vegas 20.
Pedro Munhoz def. Jimmie Rivera by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)