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MMA: Rivera loses in Abu Dhabi

After a desultory first two rounds, Santa Fe MMA flyweight Jerome Rivera mounted a strong finish against Brazil’s Francisco Figueiredo.

Unfortunately for Rivera, one out of three wasn’t good enough.

In Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Figueiredo defeated Rivera by unanimous decision Wednesday on a UFC Fight Night card.

Rivera drops to 10-4. Figueiredo, the brother of UFC flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo, is 12-3-1.

Figueiredo dominated the first two rounds, easily getting inside Rivera’s longer reach and three times taking down the New Mexico southpaw.

In the third round, exhorted by veteran Albuquerque cornerman Chris Luttrell, Rivera landed solid shots to the head and the body and had Figueiredo on the defensive for most of the five minutes. But Rivera’s rally was too little, too late.

All three judges scored the fight 29-28 for Figueiredo, who was making his UFC debut.

Each judge scored rounds one and two for Figueiredo, the third for Rivera.

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