Injuries Force Jimmie Rivera, Dhiego Lima Out of UFC 247 Matchups

By: Jay Pettry
Jan 23, 2020

The Ultimate Fighting Championship has taken a few big hits in its return to Houston in February.

On Wednesday, Combate first reported that Dhiego Lima (15-7) has been forced to withdraw from his welterweight scrap with Alex Morono (15-5, 1 NC) due to a neck injury. Additionally, on Thursday, MMA Junkie reported that Jimmie Rivera (22-4) will not be competing against Marlon Vera (15-5-1) at bantamweight on that same night. Both were slated to square off against their respective opponents at UFC 247, which will be going down at the Toyota Center in Houston on Feb. 8. The promotion has not yet announced a replacement for either fighter, or if the two remaining will stay on the card.

When speaking with MMA Fighting, Lima stated that his injury will not require surgery. Lima was looking to extend his win streak to four, most recently having taken a pair of split verdicts over Court McGee and Luke Jumeau in 2019. His current streak is the longest for the Brazilian dating back to 2013, when he won a trio of bouts over Nick Hinchcliff, Rogel Carroll and Ricky Rainey.

Morono has also won his last three, including two victories over Max Griffin and Zak Ottow in 2019. By forcing Ottow to verbally submit to elbow strikes at UFC Fight Night 146, he became the first fighter to make an opponent to tap to strikes since 2017. The Houston native captured a "Fight of the Night" decision win over Kenan Song in 2018 to earn his first post-fight bonus of his career.

Rivera's injury has not yet been disclosed, and his timetable to return is yet unclear. Both he and his opponent were first considered to face one another at UFC Fight Night 103, but Rivera declined to take the bout on the grounds the he would rather wait for a different opponent. "El Terror" was looking to bounce back from the longest skid of his career, dropping consecutive decisiosn to top contender Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan in 2019. His lone win dating back to 2017 came over John Dodson at UFC 228 in September 2018.

Vera has been angling to fight Rivera for quite some time, and even had hopes that he would end Rivera's career. The finish-minded Eduadorian has won his last five bouts, all by stoppage including victories against Andre Ewell and Frankie Saenz. His own streak is the longest since he began his career at 5-0. "Chito" sports a finish rate of 87 percent, with over half his wins coming by tapout.

UFC 247 takes place on Feb. 8 at the Toyota Center in Houston. The event will be headlined by a light heavyweight title battle between Jon Jones and Dominick Reyes, while a flyweight championship matchup of Valentina Shevchenko vs. Katlyn Chookagian serves as the co-featured attraction.

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