UFC Phoenix: Marlon Vera Replaces Caraway Against Jimmie Rivera

A replacement has been found for Bryan Caraway in his UFC Phoenix fight against Jimmie Rivera, it will be Marlon Vera stepping in.

While MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani was the first to report the switch on Twitter, the UFC later confirmed it on their website.

Bryan Caraway vs. Jimmie Rivera was the only fight on next Sunday’s Fight Night card that had title implications, with both fighters in the top-six at bantamweight. Now Rivera will look to keep his lengthy win streak alive against the young Ecuadorian, Marlon Vera.

Jimmie Rivera has not lost a bout since his second pro fight, now holding a 20-1 record with four of those wins in the Octagon. Rivera burst onto the scene in September with a one-sided decision victory over Urijah Faber on pay-per-view. The victory catapulted him into the top-10 rankings and the bantamweight title picture. The former CFFC champion has one Fight of the Night under his belt, and six stoppage victories in his career.

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Marlon “Chito” Vera got his big break on The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America in 2014 as a 6-1-1 fighter. Vera won his first fight in the tournament against Henry Briones but was removed from the tournament due to a skin infection. He still got his shot at the big stage, and is 2-2 inside the Octagon, with a Performance of the Night in one of those victories for a triangle choke. Vera won his last bout in November against Ning Guangyou after it was delayed twice.

UFC Fight Night 103 takes place on Sunday, January 15, from the Talking Stick Resort Casino in Phoenix, Arizona. BJ Penn headlines the card (if he makes it to fight night) against unorthodox up-and-comer Yair Rodriguez. The rest of the card features:

  • Joe Lauzon vs. Marcin Held
  • Court McGee vs. Ben Saunders
  • #10 John Moraga vs. Sergio Pettis
  • Frankie Saenz vs. Augusto Mendes
  • Alexey Oliynyk vs. Viktor Pesta
  • Tony Martin vs. Alex White
  • Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger vs. Nina Ansaroff
  • Devin Powell vs. Drakkar Klose
  • Walt Harris vs. Chase Sherman
  • Bojan Mihajlovic vs. Joachim Christensen
  • Dmitrii Smoliakov vs. Cyril Asker

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