Jimmie Rivera is no longer fighting Dominick Cruz at UFC 219, and it sounds like the bantamweight contender isn’t at all surprised.
The two were scheduled to fight at the December 30th, Las Vegas event, in what many believed would determine the next challenger for the 135 crown. But, recently it was announced that Cruz has broken his arm, and that he’ll no longer fight.
Rivera recently spoke with MMA Junkie, and while discussing what’s transpired, the New Jersey fighter said this:
“At the beginning I was like, ‘I hope he doesn’t get hurt,’” Rivera said. “Then day after day, I forgot about it because I have to focus on getting ready for a fight. I can’t train and have it in the back of my mind – ‘What if he gets hurt?’
“I’m not trying to be a dick about it or anything like that, but he’s out, he’s hurt, and he’s really accident-prone,” Rivera added. “He always gets hurt; it’s always one thing or another. It comes down to his style of fighting. My coach and I sat down and studied it getting ready for this fight, and it’s not practical. He’s more injury-prone than he realizes with his style of fighting.”
It’s no secret that Cruz has spent a ton of time on the DL in recent years, but, it’s interesting to hear Rivera argue it’s because of his fighting style. There’s no question that Cruz is extremely unorthodox and that he utilizes some very interesting movement / footwork.
It would be interesting to see what Cruz thinks of this theory. Knee injuries have been the main culprit, in terms of why the storied bantamweight has fought just four times since 2011. A groin injury also kept Cruz on the sidelines for a while, and more recently, he’s battled plantar fascia tendinitis in his foot.
Rivera also relayed that he hopes Cruz has a “speed recovery”. Here’s hoping that’s the case. As it stands right now, it’s not clear yet whether Rivera will still fight at UFC 219. Rivera is riding a 20 fight winning streak, and has gone 5-0 in the UFC to date.