MMA fighter Jerome Rivera is ready to return to the octagon

Local Sports

Jerome Rivera will never forget his last trip into the octagon. The LFA fighter was on the short end of a fight that lasted only 40 seconds. While facing Brandon Royval, Rivera snapped a bone and his arm and also dislocated his elbow. The fight had to be stopped.

That was back in May. Rivera has since healed after Tommy John surgery and will headline a fight card in his hometown of Santa Fe, New Mexico on Saturday. Rivera is fighting Gene Perez of Belen as the main event of the Jackson’s Fight Series 27 card at Buffalo Thunder Casino.

Rivera is fighting outside of LFA for Saturday’s event. It’s sort of like a tune-up before he returns to LFA competition. Rivera said he learned from the injury in his last fight and the time off. 

“Looking back, it did a lot for me mentally. I grew up as a martial artist, I grew up as a man,” said Rivera. “My girlfriend was pregnant at the time, four months, so I got to enjoy her pregnancy and help her out and got to be there while the baby was born. Thankfully, my elbowed healed up in time when the baby was born and I was able to hold her.”

When he returns back to LFA competition Rivera will complete the last of his three-fight deal with the organization. He is hoping to sign a new deal. The flyweight fighter is also open to any other deals that might come his way.

“That’s my goal,” said Rivera. “I want to be a world champ in any promotion I’m in. If I go to UFC next, I want their belt. If I go to Bellator next, I want their belt. If I go fight in Singapore for 1-FC, I want to fight Demetrius Johnson. So those are my goals.”

The Jackson Fight Series 27 fight card at Buffalo Thunder has a 7 p.m. start time Saturday.

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