Tomorrow night on the main card of UFC Vegas 20, we will see a very important fight in the bantamweight division. Top ten contenders will go head-to-head for the second time as Pedro Munhoz (18-5,1 NC) takes on Jimmie Rivera (23-4).
Originally, this fight was supposed to take place on the UFC 258 main card, however, a positive COVID test scrapped the fight. The matchup was pushed back a couple of weeks and now fight fans will get to see this rematch tomorrow night.
In their first fight, Jimmie Rivera was able to pickup the split decision victory. Their first matchup took place way back in 2015. Rivera will be looking to pickup his second consecutive win tomorrow night.
Rivera has only lost three fights inside the UFC. Those losses came against Petr Yan, Aljamain Sterling, and Marlon Moraes. Needless to say, whenever Rivera has been bested inside the octagon, it’s only been against the best.
Pedro Munhoz will have his chance at redemption tomorrow night. However, it’s not just going to be redemption from his first matchup with Rivera. Munhoz will also be looking for redemption after his last loss which was by a razor thin split decision.
Pedro Munhoz has some very solid wins which have made him a top contender. Most notably his knockout win over former UFC champion, Cody Garbrandt. Munhoz is much improved from the first fight, but are his improvements enough?
UFC Vegas 20 Prediction
This is such a fun matchup and a big one for the bantamweight division. These two are ranked eighth and ninth in the UFC’s bantamweight division and whoever wins is likely to get someone in the top five in their next fight.
With Jimmie Rivera, things that stick out in this matchup are his defensive wrestling and his good boxing. Rivera is a very good wrestler, but his boxing to me is where he shines in the octagon. He also should have the strength advantage tomorrow night in the grappling.
Now when it comes to power shots, you have to favor Pedro Munhoz. I’ve been very impressed with the improved striking of Munhoz and his ability to mix things up inside the octagon. These two are so evenly matched that it’s really tough to pick a winner.
One weapon I want to watch for at UFC Vegas 20 is the leg kicks of Munhoz. If he can work those early, I believe he can get the decision. However, if he lets Rivera get too comfortable, I think the fight is there for Rivera to take. Expect another razor close decision and I’m going to go with Munhoz to get redemption here.
Prediction: Pedro Munhoz by Split Decision