Stepping into the Spotlight in Utica

ufc-fn131Sometimes the difference between a superstar fighter and everyone else is as simple as attention.

There are so many talented fighters in the FUC but only a few ever get the attention they deserve for being as good as they are.

Often the excuses is a simple one as there have been any number of talented fighters to enter the UFC only to fall under the pressure of the big show.

This is a sport where fans want to see to believe and in the UFC that is so much more the case with so many talented fighters.

It’s fine to be great heading into the UFC but until fighters are tested there really is no buzz around them.

So many fighters have already ridden a hype train to the top only to lose when they get there and disappoint the fans.

As a result, fans can be a little jaded about the next star coming into the UFC as a superstar before they even fight in the UFC.

That is the case so often for many fighters but that is not always the case as there are those rare fighters that seem to slip through the cracks.

These fighters are talented and have proven it in the UFC but yet they never get much attention when talking about talent.

At UFC Fight Night 131 both sides of that equation were ready to fight each other in the main event.

On one side was Marlon Moraes who came into the UFC as a man considered to be the best fighter not in the UFC.

He couldn’t quite live up to the hype in his first fight in the UFC taking a loss, albeit a close one, and showing some that he might not belong.

The difference between Moraes and so many others though is the fact that Moraes took that as a learning experience and came back.

His next two fighters were wins and the much-hyped fighter started to regain his stardom as one of the best.

He was going to put that to the test in a big way though as he signed on to fight Jimmie Rivera in the main event.

For many casual fans, Jimmie Rivera isn’t much of a name in MMA but for those in the know, Rivera is one of the best bantamweights in the world.

It is clear when looking at his record and having to scroll down pretty far to see any loss on his record.

That one loss came at the beginning of his career when he took a split decision loss as a member of Ring of Combat.

His only other loss was during the Ultimate Fighter against Dennis Bermudez although that fight was an exhibition and not official as a part of his record.

In total Rivera had been able to get his hand raised 25-straight times and took those wins to a big run in the UFC.

Like every fighter, he took on mainly lower level fighters to start with but then was able to take out Iuri Alcantara, Urijah Faber and Thomas Almeida.

It was a great run and seemed to only be building up as the fights moved on with most seeing him as a lock for a potential title shot.mma-sidebar.fw

Yet most people hadn’t really heard of him and all he needed, despite the streak, was to be recognized in a bigger fight.

A fight against Moraes was his chance to show his skills on a bigger stage with a more recognizable fighter across the octagon.

Another win against a big name would have made him a sure thing to get a title shot but it wasn’t going to be easy.

Moraes had shown why he was so hyped before entering the UFC and he was going to give Rivera a test.

Despite the fact that Rivera wasn’t a massive name and Moraes was just gaining his notoriety back, this was a big fight for the division.

Unfortunately, it only lasted a few seconds as a fight that some experts had as potentially a fight of the year was over before it even began.

After a short period of the usual playing around and trying to find the right angle, Moraes uncorked a massive head kick.

It shook Rivera and sent him to the ground where Moraes swarmed and finish the fight to take the win.

The 25-fight win streak was over and that momentum for Rivera was lost with that kick, although he will be back.

Winning 25 fights in a row isn’t just thrown away but that title shot is not going to be his any time soon.

Moraes has only been getting more impressive as a UFC fighter and as he continued to rise it’s very likely he is close to a title shot if not ready to take it now.

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