Starting his career in 2001, Rivera competed professionally 29 times, with 15 of those appearances coming inside the octagon. “El Conquistador” racked up 20 victories in those 29 bouts and finished his opponents in all but four of his victories. Throughout his career, Rivera has fought some of the top names in the sport including Rich Franklin, Michael Bisping, and Anderson Silva. He holds victories over the likes of Ultimate Fighter 3 winner Kendall Grove, UFC veteran Dennis Hallman, and former UFC title challengers Chris Lytle, Nate Quarry, and David Loiseau.
His final victory came against Eric Schaffer. After struggling in the first round with Schaffer’s grappling, Rivera rebounded in round two to finish “Red” with a barrage of strikes.
At the post-fight press conference, Rivera was all smiles when reflecting on his career.
“I’ve had my ups and downs, highs and lows. (My career) speaks for itself.”
Even when asked if he would change a moment in his career, Rivera didn’t balk, saying he wouldn’t have changed anything. While the lowlight of his career was last February when he fought Bisping in Australia, the highlight was, “Any fight where I got a knockout. You pick one and I’ll agree with it.”
As for retirement, Rivera said he made the decision to hang it up when training camp for the Schafer fight started. “It wasn’t a hard decision at all. I’m getting old. I’ll be 40 this year and these guys are young and no joke. My reflexes are slowing down. I have a family to take care of and I don’t want to suffer a serious injury that might complicate that.” Speaking of his family, they weren’t quite as sad as fans were when he announced his retirement. “(My family) is happy with it. They asked me to retire awhile ago.”
Rivera isn’t done in the sport of MMA though. “I have a school that is opening up and I’m sure I’ll do well there,” said Jorge. “I get to help people and I’m comfortable with that. I don’t feel the need to be a multi-millionaire as long as God provides me with what I need then I’m content.”
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC