36-Year-Old UFC Bantamweight 11-7-0, 1NC
January 19, 2018 Francisco Rivera News
RotoWire Fantasy Analysis
Rivera has been suspended for four years by the USADA due to an anti-doping violation. According to the report, "Rivera, 36, tested positive for clenbuterol as the result of an out-of-competition urine sample he provided on July 23, 2016."
Rivera is facing an extended four-year ban due to the fact that "several pieces of evidence presented by Rivera to USADA and the arbitrator had been falsified" and "deceitful or obstructive conduct intended to avoid the detection or adjudication of an anti-doping policy violation may be regarded as aggravating circumstances, which can lead to an increased period of ineligibility". As a result, his ban will extend four years from when he was provisionally suspended from competition on Aug. 17, 2016.
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Fantasy AnalysisRivera may actually have a compelling defense here, as USADA recently released a statement warning of the prevalence of meats contaminated with this substance in both China and Mexico. There's even precedent here, as USADA has recently cleared China's Ning Guangyou of any wrongdoing following a positive test for the same substance. The agency will likely have to further analyze Rivera's sample to be certain of the concentration of the substance, but as things currently stand, the UFC bantamweight has a reasonable shot of avoiding a suspension.
Fantasy AnalysisThe banned substance Rivera allegedly used hasn't been disclosed but he went on to lose the fight against Perez by unanimous decision. Given that he's now lost three fights in a row and four of his last five, it was going to be difficult enough for him to be granted another UFC fight but the allegations could result in another snag. More information on the situation and potential suspension should arise as it unfolds.
Fantasy AnalysisRivera's entertaining style of fighting is the only thing that may keep him from losing his job. Rivera got off to a quick start and landed the harder shots of the two fighters in Round 1, but he was outworked in Round 2. Outside of a brief 25-second flurry to start Round 3 where he kept throwing punches like a lunatic, he spent the majority of the final frame on his back because he had no energy left. A loser of three in a row and four of his last five, it may be difficult for Dana White and Joe Silva to give Rivera another fight with the company.
Fantasy AnalysisRivera's last five opponents: Brad Pickett, John Lineker, Alex Caceres, Urijah Faber and Takeya Mizugaki. That's high level competition, but Cisco is just 1-4 in those fights. He is entertaining to watch, but he has virtually no technical skills and his best chance of winning any fight is to stand-and-bang and pray he connects with one huge right-hand. For once in his career, Rivera needs to worry about winning and not entertaining the fans. He could find himself unemployed if he loses this fight.
Fantasy AnalysisTo be perfectly clear, Rivera won this fight. Unfortunately, he was once again the victim of a poor judge's decision. Rivera easily won Round 1 and it certainly appeared he took Round 2, but the judge's apparently disagreed. Rivera's banging style is extremely entertaining to watch, but he is never going to beat quality fighters unless he mixes it up a little. Still, he should have won this fight. Rivera knows that it's a poor idea to leave a fight in the judge's hands, especially when you're opponent is fighting in his home country.
Fantasy AnalysisAs Rivera openly admitted after the fight, his game plan went right out the window. Even though the stoppage came via submission, the last thing you want to do against Lineker is get into a slugfest and that is exactly what Rivera did. Rivera showed a ton of heart and he easily could have gotten a win had Lineker's chin not held up. It was by no means a terrible effort, Rivera just strayed from the game plan and it ended up costing him.
Fantasy AnalysisThat didn't take long. One gigantic right hand from Rivera put an early end to Caceres' night. It was a much needed win for Rivera after back-to-back losses to Urijah Faber and Takeya Mizugaki. Rivera has arguably the heaviest hands in the bantamweight division. Notoriously inconsistent throughout his UFC career, it will be interesting to see if this will get Rivera on a roll.