Jimmie Rivera (20-1) vs. Thomas Almeida (21-1)
Jimmie Rivera has many strengths, but his #1 tool in this fight should be his wrestling ability. His second biggest tool may very well be his great chin. If Amanda wins this match, it will most likely be by knockout. Whenever a fighter has one path to victory, he must be dominant, and he must be able to prevent the opponent from evading this strength through the duration of the fight. I feel that Almeida has one path to victory in this fight, but that Rivera will be able to take big shots from the heavy hitter and then outstrike him or outwrestle him through the remainder of the fight.
Both fighters only have one loss, and Almeida’s only defeat came at the hands of the reigning bantamweight champion, Cody “No Love” Garbrandt. Although much of Almeida’s hype died after the Garbrandt defeat, a claim cannot be made that Almeida was “exposed.” It was a first round knockout from arguably heaviest hitter in the division. But if there was a fight that might “expose” him for future opponents and any naysaysers, this will probably be it. This fight will be a great test for Jimmie Rivera’s fight IQ to see if he can avoid the KO for three rounds, and it will also test Almeida’s ability to stay the course over a three round affair, as I do in fact see this fight going into the third round, which would more than likely favor El Terror.
The odds are pretty close, and there with Rivera being on an insane 19-fight win streak and having more than one path to victory, -200 is a good value bet. However, with Almeida’s only loss coming to the reigning bantamweight champion while sitting at 21-1, at +170, it makes a ton of sense taking him as an underdog and stacking him on a win-big parlay. I personally am putting money on Rivera in a supplementary parlay. I see his toughness surviving Almeida and then having more weapons to win the war.
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