Someone should have warned Anthony Durnell that the “El Terror” in between Jimmie and Rivera was not just a nickname. It was what everyone of the Rivera’s fourteen professional opponents have gone through in the cage. Durnell brought the record of a championship contender into the CFFC cage Saturday night, but where he built that record didn’t help him escape the cage with a win.
Rivera did what Rivera does, only this time he did it a little more convincingly. The Tiger Schulmann’s Manhattan Sensei has built his reputation by relentlessly pressing his opponents while using his unmatched cardio to make the cage a living hell. Durnell would feel that pain right from the opening bell.
Rivera’s two best weapons in the fight were his own jab and Durnell’s jab. That may seem a little strange until you see it. Every time Durnell threw a jab he would get hit with two or three hard shots in return. Rivera’s timing was perfect all night as he closed the distance on the taller Durnell with a lightning fast jab of his own.
Then when Durnell tried to return fire, Rivera used perfect timing to slip his head to the left while connecting with an overhand right following with a left hook to the body. He did it twice in succesion in the first round, following the second left hook to the body with a beautiful right leg low kick to the shin.
That kick would put Durnell on the mat where Rivera would land some more punishing shots. “The Death Dealer” was lacking the right cards in this fight as Rivera sustained almost no damage in the two plus rounds of the fight. Instead it would be Durnell constantly getting staggered while Rivera kept pouncing every time he sensed a chance for the knockout.
That knockout would come in the third round and it would come in a way most fighters can only dream about. Rivera’s commitment to working the body paid off as Durnell threw another jab at 3:22 of the third round. In less than a second Rivera again slipped the jab and connected with a cross to the head and a left hook to the body. Only this time the hook hit the right button and Durnell immediately curled up in the fetal position and backed into the cage. That was enough for the referee as he quickly stepped in to save Durnell from further damage.
Jimmie Rivera has made a career out of putting on intensely crowd pleasing fights. He never puts on a boring show. This fight may just have been the very best of his young career. It earned him a rousing ovation from the TSMMA fans and the CFFC Bantamweight Championship Belt! Congratulations to “El Terror” who was just that for his opponent Saturday night.