At a visit to the Tiger Schulmann MMA school in Manhattan last week, The MMA Journalist sat down with the Bellator and WSOF veteran and talked with Rivera about his past, present and future. Rivera - who had just taught a kids' class and was about to teach a class full of adults - spoke of his TUF 14 loss to eventual runner-up Dennis Bermudez, as well as his goals in the sport. But one fighter on the UFC's roster drew much of Rivera's ire, a local fighter who Rivera claims twice turned down fights with him before the UFC called him up.
That fighter was Team Serra/Longo rep Sterling. Not long ago Rivera had pegged Sterling as someone who, if he beat him in the New Jersey regional circuit, would be his ticket back to the Octagon - a destination Rivera has been hoping to reach since before he won belts in King of the Cage and Ring of Combat.