The UFC has to look for a replacement for bantamweight Marlon Vera for UFC 247. MMA Junkie’s Nolan King reports that Jimmie Rivera has withdrawn from his fight with Vera due to an “undisclosed injury.” The fight was set to be the main event for the ESPN Prelim card leading into UFC 247.
Rivera was looking to bounce back from a two-fight losing streak. His last loss was against Petr Yan at UFC 238 on June 8, 2019, by unanimous decision. At one point, Rivera was on track to becoming the number one contender for the bantamweight championship and was on a 20 fight win streak. However, since his knockout loss to Marlon Moraes at UFC Fight Night 131 on June 1, 2018, Rivera has been trying to string together wins to get back in contention. Rivera’s MMA record is 22-4 and is ranked number seven in the bantamweight division.
Vera has been linked to a matchup with Rivera several times over the years. When Rivera needed an opponent at UFC Fight Night 103 on January 15, 2017, Vera had offered to step in. However, Rivera didn’t want to fight Vera, who was ranked below him. After being denied, Vera has been looking to fight Rivera ever since. Vera is on a five-fight winning streak, with his last win being a TKO win over Andre Ewell at UFC Fight Night 161 on October 12, 2019. His MMA record is 15-5 and is ranked number 14 in the bantamweight division.
The UFC has not taken Vera off the card yet. The headline of UFC 247 is a light heavyweight championship matchup between champion Jon Jones and Dominick Reyes. The co-main event of the card will be a women’s flyweight championship matchup between champion Valentina Shevchenko vs Katlyn Chookagian.