When Aljamain Sterling left Cage Fury Fighting Championships (CFFC) as the undefeated bantamweight champion for the UFC, he left some pretty big shoes to fill. Without skipping a beat, Jimmie Rivera (14-1), stepped in and has taken the division to a whole new level. Winning the vacant title in November 2014 with a TKO victory over Anthony Durnell (11-4), Rivera has the biggest challenge to date when he defends his title for the first time against Carson Beebe (15-3) on Saturday May 9, 2015 at the Borgata Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
“Jimmie is the best pound-for-pound fighter in our organization,” said CFFC CEO Robert Haydak, Jr. “I'm baffled as to why the (UFC) call hasn't come for him yet. We're getting to the point where finding him a match-up is becoming a challenge. For Arias to secure someone with Carson's skill level is amazing. This fight is going to be incredible."
Raised in Ramsey, New Jersey, Rivera has trained and prospered under the guidance of Danny Schulmann and has earned a third degree MMA black belt in TSMMA. After breaking state records in wrestling in high school, Rivera transitioned to MMA with ease and has not lost a fight in over six years. Rivera is a man of few words but when he speaks, it’s with confidence. “I’m going to finish the fight,” said Rivera looking forward to his match up with Beebe. “I think my opponent is tough and it will be a good fight. I’m looking forward to defending the belt.” Hailing from Chicago, Illinois, Beebe has also amassed an impressive record and like Rivera, was a participant on the Ultimate Fighter. Beebe, who currently trains at Gilbert Grappling and Valley Flow Striking, has a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Christian Uflacker and was a high school All American and a starter for Purdue University in wrestling. Beebe wasted no time in accepting the challenge to fight for the CFFC bantamweight title. “Very excited,” said the challenger. “CFFC has launched many of their champions on to the UFC. It is one of the top regional promotions in the country and this is a great opportunity. I feel honored to be considered for the title, especially against such a top level opponent. This is going to be a great fight for the fans and I can't wait to put on a show. Jimmie is a beast. He and I are two of the top bantamweights in the country outside of the UFC. It's time to put up or shut up. On May 9, we will find out who is the best.”
"This card has so many great fights,” continued Haydak. “I'm looking forward to the first fight of the night just as much as the main event. In typical CFFC fashion, this card will not disappoint."