Jimmie Rivera (R) lands one of many punches in his Sept. 17 KOTC title bout with Abel Cullum. (Photo by TheFightNerd.com)

King of the Cage 135-pound champion Jimmie Rivera (8-1) surprised many when he took the title from longtime veteran Abel Cullum (18-4) on Sept. 17 in a dynamic five-round brawl. Now it looks like the two fighters will go at it again in a rematch scheduled for May 14 in New Mexico.

Rivera confirmed the rematch plans with ProMMAnow.com.

In their first bout, Rivera managed a split decision victory, outstriking Cullum on the feet, avoiding Cullum’s takedown attempts, and scoring a number of takedowns of his own to dictate the pace.

Rivera defended the title on Feb. 3 with a unanimous decision win over Jared Papazian (11-6-1). Before taking the KOTC championship, Rivera competed for the Ring of Combat promotion and also went 2-0 under the Bellator Fighting Championships banner.

A KOTC standout for many years, Cullum also competed in EliteXC against Bellator contender Wilson Reis and fought in DREAM’s 2009 featherweight grand prix, beating Akiyo Nishiura before losing via submission to Hideo Tokoro.

Stay tuned to ProMMAnow.com for a full feature story on Rivera, where he discussed his MMA career, how he got started, and his road to becoming a top bantamweight prospect.

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