The beef between Ultimate Fighting Championship> bantamweights Marlon Moraes and Jimmie Rivera just got more complicated.
Saturday evening via Twitter, Moraes posted a page of a UFC bout agreement, indicating that he had signed on to square off with Rivera at UFC on Fox 28, scheduled for Feb. 24 at the Amway Center in Orlando, Fla. Naturally, a provocative caption went with it.
“Here you go @JimmieRivera135 I signed my bout [email protected] on fox. I also agreed to fight you on march 3rd choose what day you want me to beat your ass B-I-T-C-H,” Moraes' tweet read.
Here you go @JimmieRivera135 I signed my bout agreement. @ufc on fox. I also agreed to fight you on march 3rd choose what day you want me to beat your ass B-I-T-C-H @seanshelby @danawhite @AliAbdelaziz00 pic.twitter.com/nrU8WTjacF— Marlon Moraes (@MMARLONMORAES) January 6, 2018
The contention between the pair of 135-pound contenders has been brewing for some time. Ramsey, N.J.’s Rivera is a product of New York City’s Team Tiger Schulmann, a staple of tri-state area MMA in Northeastern United Stated. Brazil’s Moraes trains under coaches Mark Henry and UFC veteran Ricardo Almeida in New Jersey.
Moraes and Rivera have gone back-and-forth with public callouts over the last several months, bringing their animosity to a more public stage in the buildup to UFC 219 on Dec. 30. During fight week, Rivera’s slated opponent John Lineker pulled out due to a wisdom tooth infection; “El Terror” took to social media to repeatedly claim that he had offered and accepted to face Moraes at both 138 and 140 pounds, but the Brazilian had declined both contracted weights.
The former World Series of Fighting bantamweight kingpin, Moraes lost his much-anticipated UFC debut in June, dropping a split decision to fellow Brazilian Raphael Assuncao. However, the 29-year-old has quickly rebounded, taking a Nov. 11 split decision over John Dodson before knocking out Aljamain Sterling on Dec. 9. Rivera, 29, has ripped off 20 consecutive victories dating back to February 2009, last defeating savvy striker Thomas Almeida at UFC on Fox 25 in July.
Rivera responded to Moraes’ social media callout via a statement to BloodyElbow on Saturday: “Monday I will be making [an] official statement on everything in the past weeks. The last time my manager spoke to [UFC Senior Vice President of Talent Relations] Sean [Shelby] it was about the possibility of fighting Cody [Garbrandt], since he says he is healthy and ready to fight.”
Rivera is scheduled to appear Monday on “The MMA Hour” with Ariel Helwani to discuss his immediate future.