Odds: Jimmie Rivera (-150) vs. Pedro Munhoz (+125)
Prediction: Rivera via decision (+100)
The scorecards were close when Jimmie Rivera beat Pedro Munhoz via split decision in their first meeting back in November 2015, and a similar result looks nailed on for the rematch five years on.
“El Terror” (23-4)—a slight frontrunner at -150—has proved well capable of lasting over three rounds as a UFC bantamweight, collecting six of his seven wins with the promotion via decision.
Rivera is 2-3 in his last five bouts, but that run is forgivable considering those losses came to Marlon Moraes (the only knockout loss of his career), Aljamain Sterling and current bantamweight champion Petr Yan. The results look even more gracious considering he took both Yan and Sterling to decisions, something few of their other opponents can claim.
The 31-year-old made his featherweight debut as a late replacement against another big talent in Cody Stamann last July, which again underlined Rivera’s durability over 15 minutes:
Munhoz (18-5-1NC)—the +125 underdog—has been through a sea of change since his first clash with Rivera as well, going 7-3 and notching a KO win over Cody Garbrandt, only to lose his last two fights against Sterling and Frankie Edgar (both by decision). “The Young Punisher” is much more accustomed to early finishes (but has never been finished himself), recording each of his five career losses by decision.
It was a thunderous head kick from Moraes that resulted in Rivera’s only stoppage loss. Not only does Munhoz not pack the same power, but his opponent isn’t liable to stand and swap blows in the same manner as Garbrandt, with Rivera a lot more calculated in his approach.
With a full training camp behind him, Rivera should be back to old habits and looks a smart pick at evens (+100) to see out the result over a full three rounds.