Nearly six years after their first bout in 2015, bantamweight contenders Pedro Munhoz and Jimmie Rivera continued to be perfect for each other in the Octagon. And this time it was Munhoz leaving victorious, with a unanimous decision allowing “The Young Punisher” to even the score with “El Terror” in an action-packed three-rounder.
Scores were 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 for the No. 8-ranked Munhoz, now 19-5, 1 NC. The No. 9-ranked Rivera falls to 23-5.
Both fighters were throwing to end it early as the fight began, but each fighter took the incoming heat without blinking. And there was heat, as the lack of a crowd in the APEX made the sound of every landed punch or kick audible throughout the venue. With 90 seconds left, Munhoz’ kicks had Rivera’s left leg compromised, but the New Jersey product kept pressing, looking for the bomb that would turn things around.
Rivera got the fight to the mat as the second opened, but Munhoz scrambled his way out of trouble and back to the feet. While there the pace was a bit more measured, but the shots were continuing to be thrown with bad intentions by both men. Each kick to the leg by Munhoz was still drawing a visible reaction, though, even as Rivera continued to keep it close with his haymakers upstairs.
A couple inadvertent low kicks by Munhoz rattled Rivera in the third round, but in between, he kept chasing the fight-changing punch, even with his leg getting worse and worse with each shot. Munhoz’s chin didn’t let him down, though, allowing him to get the end of the fight and a decision win.
Official Result: Pedro Munhoz def. Jimmie Rivera by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) | See the Scorecards