Pedro Munhoz got revenge for a past loss at UFC Vegas 20 while earning a unanimous decision over Jimmie Rivera in an absolute battle throughout all three rounds.
The difference for Munhoz this time around was the addition of the calf-kick to his arsenal as he just assaulted Rivera’s lead leg from the first exchange in the fight until the very last. When the final horn sounded, Rivera’s leg looked like he was hiding a football inside of it from all the swelling as Munhoz admired his handiwork.
The judges scored the contest 30-27, 30-27 and 29-27 with Munhoz getting the win while also stopping his recent two-fight skid in the octagon.
“I’m very excited,” Munhoz said about his win. “That was the second time we were able to do this battle inside the octagon. This was a war. It felt good.”
There was a whole lot of offense from the bantamweights with Rivera just biting down on his mouthpiece and swinging heavy leather while Munhoz was more than happy to exchange punch for punch.
The real difference in the opening round was Munhoz chopping away at Rivera’s lead leg with a series of devastating calf kicks. A noticeable bruise started to form on Rivera’s lower leg as he tried his best to keep it away from Munhoz doing further damage.
Between rounds, Rivera told his coaches that his leg was in excruciating pain, which led to him looking for a takedown but Munhoz was quick to escape and then re-establish his striking attack on the feet. Munhoz was patient with his combinations but he was always looking for those same kicks that were turning Rivera’s leg into a mangled mess.
Knowing that he was down on the scorecards, Rivera got more aggressive in the third and final round as he continued to throw with knockout power behind almost every punch. In return, Muhnoz just bided his time to avoid the flurries and then throwing those same kicks that had to feel like a baseball bat just thudding across the leg.
Still, Rivera refused to back down as he kept throwing combinations trying to mount a comeback but Munhoz wouldn’t give him an inch until the fight was over.
It was a much-needed win for Munhoz after a pair of recent losses and now he’s hoping this performance will propel him into an even bigger fight against a former champion about to make his return to action.
“I’m No. 8 right now. I don’t know how the rankings works but right now a lot of people are saying that T.J. Dillashaw is coming back,” Munhoz said. “That would be a pleasure sharing the octagon with him. I’m ready to welcome him back.”