UFC 149: July 21, 2012 Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada UFC Bantamweight Contender Francisco Rivera (-145) Profile: With only four years of experience in MMA, Francisco Rivera (8-2) has had a relatively fast rise in the UFC ranks. After starting out in the local California shows and going 5-0, the 30-year-old made his debut at WEC 52 and lost to eventual featherweight title contender Erik Koch via first-round TKO. When the WEC merged with the UFC, Rivera made the transition and fought again at The Ultimate Fighter 13 finale, losing to Reuben Duran via rear-naked choke submission. His second straight loss led to his release from the UFC, but a couple devestating knockout wins in the Tachi Palace Fights promotion got the UFC’s attention and earned an invitation back. Rivera took advantage of that second chance by scoring a unanimous decision win against Alex Soto at UFC On FUEL TV 3. UFC Bantamweight Contender Roland Delorme (+115) Profile: A relative newcomer to the MMA scene, Roland Delorme (8-1) went 6-1 on the Canadian independent scene until he was snatched up by the UFC for The Ultimate Fighter 14. The 28-year-old bantamweight was picked last by coach Jason “Mayhem” Miller, but made enough of an impression on the UFC brass with his solid submission skills and work ethic. The 28-year-old Canadian made his debut at The Ultimate Fighter 14 Finale against Josh Ferguson and submitted him in the third round via rear-naked choke, then followed up that impressive performance by submitting MMA vet Nick Denis the same way in the first round on UFC on FOX 3 to stay unbeaten in the UFC at 2-0. Opening UFC 149 Odds Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Rivera a slight -145 favorite (bet $145 to win $100) while Delorme opened as a +115 underdog (bet $100 to win $115) according to the MMA odds. This is an intriguing matchup between two bantamweights who are trying to stick in the UFC and make a name for themselves. Delorme suffered his only career loss in his home country of Canada, but he will be excited to fight there for the first time in the UFC. Meanwhile, Rivera will be far from home and fighting for just the second time outside the California/Las Vegas area. He was impressive in his first UFC win and may have to try to gut out another decision against Delorme, who has only one loss in his pro MMA career. However, Delorme was submitted by fellow bantamweight contender T.J. Dillashaw in the TUF 14 quarterfinals and could struggle as he steps up in competition.