Jimmie Rivera Calls for Fight Against Former UFC Champ Cody Garbrandt

Jimmie Rivera didn't get to fight a former champion at UFC 219 so now he's setting his sights on a different one

Jimmie Rivera wants his chance to compete for a UFC title and there’s no faster path than going through a former champion.

At UFC 219, Rivera was expected to face long time bantamweight king Dominick Cruz but he was forced out of the bout with a broken arm and replaced by John Lineker.

Lineker then dropped out of the fight just days before the event and Rivera left UFC 219 without ever actually competing.

With current bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw expected to face flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson in his next fight, Rivera is anxious to book an opponent so he can call for the next title shot in 2018.

That’s why he’s now turned his attention to former champion Cody Garbrandt, who has been out of action since Nov. 2017 when he suffered the loss to Dillashaw that cost him the bantamweight title.

“Cody Garbrandt says he healthy, let’s put a show on for the fans,” Rivera wrote on Twitter. “He wants to defend his spot and I want to take it.”

Garbrandt hasn’t indicated when he hopes to book his next fight but he has been back in training for several weeks while preparing to make his return this year.

According to the official rankings from the UFC, Garbrandt is still at No. 1 behind Dillashaw while Rivera is No. 4 in the division so it would definitely serve as a matchup between top five ranked opponents.

Now Rivera will play the waiting game to find out if the UFC is interested in booking the matchup with Garbrandt now that he’s made his request.

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.