Stamann (19-2-1 MMA, 5-1-1 UFC) will be making a quick turnaround when he faces Rivera (22-4 MMA, 6-3 UFC) this Wednesday at UFC on ESPN 13 at Flash Forum on Yas Island in a featherweight bout.
Though Rivera has lost three of his last four, all his losses have come to top-tier competition. But Stamann thinks Rivera hasn’t made any changes to adapt to the new flock of contenders at 135 pounds.
“Jimmie is one of those guys that stands in the pocket, sits down on punches and tries to figure it out like that,” Stamann told reporters during the UFC on ESPN 13 virtual media day. “Kelleher was kind of the same way, maybe a little more damage than Jimmie. Jimmie is a little more technical, a little more explosive. I look at Jimmie like a dying breed in MMA.
“He’s one of those guys that really is kind of one-dimensional, fights in one stance, can’t really move, but is really good at what he does. Really fundamentally sound, but this game is constantly evolving, and I don’t feel like Jimmie has evolved with it.”
Stamann on the other hand, has only lost to projected title challenger Aljamain Sterling since joining the UFC roster in 2017. Just last month at UFC 250, he picked up a unanimous decision win over Brian Kelleher.
Despite this fight being contested at 145 pounds due to its late addition to the card, Stamann sees a win over Rivera putting him in the contention mix at 135 pounds.
“I look at bantamweight as the most stacked division in the UFC right now,” Stamann said. “I mean it’s insane how many big names and talented guys there are, probably 1-to-20, and to be in that mix, it’s amazing.
“There are no easy fights at the top, and after watching that title fight (between Petr Yan and Jose Aldo) this weekend, I feel like I’m not that far away from a fight like that.”
UFC on ESPN 13 airs on ESPN and streams on ESPN+.
Original article: https://mmajunkie.usatoday.com/2020/07/ufc-on-espn-13-cody-stamann-one-dimensional-jimmie-rivera-hasnt-evolved/