MMA Odds and Ends for Thursday: Munhoz/Rivera Booked for November

Pedro MunhozUFC and ONE FC were adding to their schedules on Wednesday with a total of three bouts for the coming months. The most notable is a clash between rising bantamweights Pedro Munhoz and Jimmie Rivera. Pedro Munhoz was given a tough task in his UFC debut, facing top five UFC bantamweight Raphael Assuncao, and dropped a unanimous decision. Since then he has been dominant, needing just 3:26 to earn his next two victories in the Octagon. Unfortunately, Munhoz has been out of action since October 2014, and at 29 in the bantamweight division, his window to become a top contender is likely closing. He still has time, but a win over Rivera is essential for him in this important bout. Jimmie Rivera suffered his only pro defeat in just his second MMA bout, a split decision loss. Since then, he has reeled off 16 straight victories including those over Willie Gates, Abel Cullum, and Jared Papazian before making his way to the UFC. In his debut, he took a tick under 90 seconds to knock out Marcus Brimage and show off the power he has recently developed. Munhoz will be his biggest test, and should be an entertaining affair regardless of where it takes place. ONE FC made a couple bookings recently as well. Roger Huerta will be taking on Koji Ando at ONE FC 31 in just 10 days. Huerta returned after a two year absence in August of last year to defeat Christian Holley in the first round. His latest test will be Ando, who challenged for the ONE FC lightweight belt in his last outing, but dropped a unanimous decision to Shinya Aoki (only the second fighter in Aoki’s last 8 to see the final bell). ONE FC 32 also had a spot filled, as middleweight champion Igor Svirid will defend his belt against Vitaly Bigdash. Svirid won the 185lb belt in his promotional debut, knocking out Leandro Ataides and running his winning streak to ten straight. Bigdash is unblemished in his pro career, with all seven of his wins coming via stoppage. ONE FC 32 features 11 other bouts, and will take place on October 9th in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. And now, your daily dose of Nick Diaz reaction: While most fighters have simply been talking about how bad the Diaz suspension is, very few have actually done anything. Henry Cejudo became one of the first notable fighters to say he will refuse to fight in Nevada in light of the commission’s ruling on the Diaz case. The NSAC likely won’t bat an eye at this statement, since Cejudo is a long way away from being a big moneymaker for the state, but with his Olympic pedigree and marketability, he has the potential to grow into a star. If someone like Ronda Rousey or Conor McGregor were to make the same statement however, you can bet that the NSAC would be taking a second look at their ruling, since that would adversely affect their bottom line.

Written by Brad Taschuk

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