One of the most appealing aspects of mixed martial arts is that there is no “off-season”. There are fights going on every week without fail. From the huge promotions to the small promotions, there is always something for fight fans to enjoy.

Here at The MMA Corner, we will preview the best fight taking place this week, regardless of its placement during an event.

This week’s Fight of the Week is a preliminary bout in the bantamweight division between Francisco Rivera and John Lineker.

On Saturday, Sept. 5, the UFC will be in the fight capital of the world, Las Vegas. The MGM Grand Garden Arena will be the stage of the eleven-fight UFC 191 event, headlined by the flyweight championship. However, the prelims feature a fight between two bantamweights that have reached a potential turning point in their respective careers.

This will be the formerly eight-ranked flyweight, Lineker’s first fight in the bantamweight division after he was essentially kicked out of the 125-pound weight class following a convincing win over Ian McCall. Lineker possibly could have been Demetrious Johnson’s next challenger following the victory; however, it was the fourth time in eight fights that he was unable to reach the 126-pound limit for the weight class, and Dana White had seen enough, forcing him to move up in weight. Now the 5’3″ Brazilian must deal with a significant height disadvantage in his new weight class, starting with his 5’9″ opponent in Rivera.

Rivera is back to his heavy handed ways following a 21 second knockout over Alex Caceres (otherwise known as Bruce Leeroy from TUF 12) back in June. “Cisco” was flying up the ranks in the bantamweight division following four consecutive victories including three knockouts. Then he ran into veteran Takeya Mizugaki, and while the fight was a very entertaining slugfest, Rivera was unable to come out on top. Following the end of his meteoric rise, the California native then suffered a broken retina in a razor-close fight against Urijah Faber. A fight that was finished by Faber shortly after an eyepoke went unnoticed by the referee.

What makes this fight so intriguing is the stylistic matchup. Both men have brutal knockout power, eight of their eleven combined UFC wins have come via knockout, a number that should rise on Saturday.

This fight has had blood-thirsty fans salivating since its announcement, and quite a few questions will be answered. Can Lineker deal with the height/reach disadvantage that he will be presented with in the bantamweight division? Will the power that earned the nickname “Hands of Stone” translate to a higher weight class? Does Francisco Rivera have another knockout-laden run in him following his eye surgery?

One thing is for sure, though, this fight will be a back-and-forth standing battle that will satisfy many fight fans’ violence quota Saturday night.

About The Author

Danny Doherty
Staff Writer

Danny is a sophomore at Ithaca College looking to acquire a Bachelor's Degree in Sport Media. He has been an avid fan of mixed martial arts since watching the UFC’s 100 Greatest Fights special on Spike TV back in 2009. Shortly following UFC 100, Danny’s Saturdays, and most of his free time, became dedicated to the Ultimate Fighting Championship. In addition to writing for The MMA Corner, Danny works as a sports broadcaster and as a DJ for Ithaca College’s FM radio station, 92 WICB.