UFC 149: What We Learned from Roland Delorme vs. Francisco Rivera
The striking clinic was open Saturday night during the UFC 149 preliminary card. Bantamweight Francisco Rivera scored the third first-round knockout of the prelims when he landed a strong left hand to finish Roland Delorme in Calgary.
Rivera (9-2), stepping in on short notice for Bibiano Fernandes, came out aggressively but showing supreme command, maintaining perfect range and leveling strike after strike on Canadian Delorme (8-2). Delorme was a game fighter but could only last so long.
What we'll remember about this fight
The knockout punch, landed short-armed as Rivera drifted backward, was truly a thing of beauty.
What we learned about Roland Delorme
He showed a tough chin in his last fight with Nick Denis and did so again tonight, but it wasn't tough enough. Rivera punished him throughout the short course of the fight; Delorme showed decent footwork and kept his distance, but made no major attempt to take the fight to the ground, where he may have had a clear advantage.
What we learned about Francisco Rivera
He's more than just a banger. It was tempting to make that assumption based on his record (six of nine wins by KO or TKO). But he's a complete standup fighter. And he's now a perfect 2-0 in the UFC. That's more impressive when you consider he took this fight on short notice.
There's just one problem: I don't understand why his nickname is "Cisco." Shouldn't he just be Cisco Rivera? I'm not Scott "Scotty" Harris. Seems redundant.
What's next for Delorme
This guy is a freeze-dried Fight of the Night. Just pull him off the shelf, add opponent, sit back and enjoy the pyrotechnics. He's 1-1 in the UFC, but still isn't as far down the ladder as one might think. Is Norifumi Yamamoto available? That's a winnable fight for either man, and the fans won't lose regardless.
What's next for Rivera
If he's willing to wait for the loser between Brad Pickett and Yves Jabouin this September, just write out the bonus checks now.
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