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All good things must come to an end, and that’s exactly what happened to the amazing win streak of Jimmie Rivera on Friday in Utica. And in the process, Marlon Moraes announced himself as a serious contender in the UFC bantamweight division with a stunning victory that brought excitement to an otherwise lackluster card. 

Rivera and Moraes squared off in the main event Friday of UFC Fight Night 131 in Utica, New York, and to the shock of many, the fight was over as quickly as it began. Just seconds into the opening round, Moraes connected with one of the loudest headkicks that you’ll ever hear, earning the quick TKO win. 

Entering the fight, Rivera was on an incredible 20-fight win streak, which included a 5-0 record in the UFC. A championship shot seemed destined for his future, but on Friday night, Moraes — who’s coming off two impressive wins over John Dodson and Aljamain Sterling — may have taken that bantamweight title shot for himself with one swift kick to the skull. 

Reigning bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw is scheduled to defend the title at UFC 227 on Aug. 4 against rival Cody Garbrandt, so whether Moraes will get a shot in the near future will become a little clearer once that bout concludes in Los Angeles. 

Can’t get enough UFC? Subscribe to my podcast In This Corner with Brian Campbell where I break down everything you need to know in the Octagon.

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