Friday, February 10, 2012

ATT's John Rivera ready for Fight Time 8

"My training has been hardcore," says John Rivera, a 1-1 fighter with American Top Team. "I'm using an 88-lb vest and 3-lb gloves. I am ready!"

Rivera faces Aaron Cerda from Texas, with a 2-2 record. He says he's not focused on this particular opponent, who hasn't fought in a year.

"I've watched some footage, and I've seen what he has to offer, but I don't study opponents. Things can change. Fighters can change their training, and learn new things. Who knows what he has been working on in the past year? I worry about what I can do. That's my focus."

Rivera says his training motivation has increased lately because he has UFC fighter Marcus Brimage in his camp. The two hit it off after meeting, and Brimage will be in the corner for Rivera's fights, as he has been in the past.

"We have a lot of incredibly talented people at ATT," Rivera said. "Training with a current UFC fighter just adds to the atmosphere. We feed off each other's energy, and being the same size, our fight styles blend to help each other train. I push him and he pushes me."

It's probably a good thing that Rivera has so much energy. He will have only a few days to rest after his fight before helping Brimage get ready for his UFC fight on April 21.

"I have to help my ATT partner prepare for his big fight. He has a lot riding on his fight, and that's what we do at ATT: we help each other as much as possible. We are more than a team. We are a family."

Rivera stresses that he's not just fighting for himself or his team. He also supports the Fight 4 Foundation, a charitable organization that allows fighters to help terminally ill children.

"I'm fighting for the children who look up to me. The ones who can't do what I do, who have to overcome challenges just to make it through each day."

Walking Rivera to the cage will be three-time cancer survivor Wayne Rabon, aka Lil Wayne, a young boy who Rivera says is a "true champion."
"He inspires me," Rivera says. "To know what he has faced, and is still going through, and still greet every day with a smile, that's true courage."

Rivera will be fighting on FIGHT TIME 8, in the War Memorial in Ft Lauderdale. The stacked card features many south Florida fighters, including Jessica "JAG" Aguilar; Mike Bruno; Michael Trujillo and Anthony Garavito, among others.

Tickets can be purchased online at
Save $5 with code FIGHT8.


Southern Fighting News
Tom Stedham

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