Jorge Rivera. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Despite a resounding win over one of the sport’s most renowned prospects last week, longtime veteran Jorge Rivera is contemplating retirement in the near future if one last run in the UFC’s middleweight division doesn’t result in above-average success:
“I think this might be my last year,” Rivera recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio. “I just want to buckle down, push real hard for this one year, and see what I can do.”
The 37-year-old announced that his status is now “fight to fight,” but added “I’ll see how my game is growing; I’ll see where I think I stand and take it from there.” Rivera cited increased wear and tear on his body, as well as family commitments, as two of the primary reasons why he feels this may be his final run in the UFC.
One of the things I neglected to touch on following last Wednesday’s event was how happy I was for Rivera that he was able to get a win in his first fight back after his daughter passed away last summer. Win or lose, Rivera always leaves everything he has in the cage/ring during his fights, and it’s his effort that has many fans appreciating what he has done over the past few years, despite his inconsistency.
A final run for the UFC middleweight belt seems unlikely to result in championship gold for Rivera, so I would assume that his retirement could come sooner rather than later. However that isn’t negative criticism towards his skills at all, just what history is saying. When everything is said and done, Rivera will be remembered as one of the sport’s toughest fighters. On any given night, he has been able to give the sport’s best a run for their money. His fights against Rich Franklin and Anderson Silva are evidence of that.
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