It’s been a frustrating week for Jimmie Rivera since hearing his fight with Bryan Caraway had been cancelled, and the UFC bantamweight is pulling no punches.
The two fighters were scheduled to meet at UFC Fight Night 103 in Phoenix, however, earlier this week the news came out that Caraway was injured and had to pull out of the fight. It has a been a bit of mess to say the least and Rivera is blaming Caraway for how the situation took shape.
“I’m not surprised in a way, this is the third or fourth time I’ve tried to fight Caraway,” Rivera told SiriusXM. “I shouldn’t be surprised that it happened, but you just keep training like you have a fight and just kinda wait and see what happens and see what the UFC or Sean Shelby are going to do.”
Asked why he believed the fight with Caraway kept falling through, Rivera implied he didn’t quite believe the story that he was injured.
“He got hurt this time or he’s faking injury,” Rivera said. “The times before that he just simply didn’t want to fight me. Take for instance the Faber fight, it was supposed to be Caraway and I but he said no to it and Faber stepped in. That’s how it happened."
When pushed about whether fighters’ fake injury often to get out of fights, Rivera said he wasn’t sure about others, but that he thinks Caraway does.
“Probably [fighters’ fake injuries], at least he does, I think so,” Rivera said. “He [Caraway] picks and chooses his battles and times when he wants to fight. I know I’ve seen it in the past. It is what it is, right now there is nothing really I can do. I just have to wait and see what happens.”
Caraway last evening took to his social media to refute the claims and instead cited that he’d been advised not to fight by his doctor.
"Fake an injury" youre funny. And clueless. Do yourself a favor and read up, that is... if you can read...— Bryan Caraway (@BryanCaraway) January 8, 2017
Thanks. It devastated me being pulled but the UFC is looking out. The UFC and the Doc showed me that health is important. https://t.co/bRwqEAqIuS— Bryan Caraway (@BryanCaraway) January 8, 2017
Regardless, the fight is off the card and UFC Fight Night 103 card will now proceed with twelve fights on the card with Yair Rodriguez meeting the returning BJ Penn in the main event.
The removal of Caraway vs. Rivera from the card will see a slight reshuffle to bout order with one of the preliminary fights being bumped up to the main card.