There was a bit of a scuffle between the camps of both fighters in the aftermath of Marlon Moraes’ 33-second knockout of Jimmie Rivera at last week’s (Fri., June 1, 2018) UFC Fight Night 131 from the Adirondack Bank Center in Utica, New York.
Details of the dust-up were scarce, but Moraes himself described the situation during an interview on The MMA Hour (via MMA Mania) today. According to him, his manager Ali Abdelaziz was attempting to calm the situation by shaking Rivera and his wife’s hand, but Rivera’s coach, karate champion Tiger Schulmann, escalated the scene by allegedly trying to start a brawl:
“My manager Ali, he’s trying to apologize and everything’s done. We fought already, that’s it’s the sport, peace. He was trying to shake Jimmie’s hand, Jimmie’s wife hand, it was all a big misunderstanding because Ali never said anything bad to his wife, he thought so. Even Jimmie understand. So Ali is talking to them and his (Jimmie’s) coach comes in, his name is Tiger or…I don’t even know his name. He comes in and tries to be a tough man to Ali and maybe start a fight.”
Abdelaziz is a longtime judoka who is in his 40s, but Moraes said he would have no problem dispatching Schulmann because he’s felt his punches in sparring:
“Man this guy is in his 50, Ali is in 40’s and Ali gives tough time to fighters. He could kill that guy and I am glad they didn’t fight. It got close. I’m glad Ali didn’t hit him, he’s got heavy hands and I know because he’s punched me before. He’s a fighter. We spar together. Everything got settled, they left and security come in. Thanks to God.”
But the rising Brazilian contender didn’t want to make it seem like Rivera was involved in the confrontation, as he was apparently trying to calm the beef. His family was a different story, though, and reportedly tried to spit on Moraes when he said hello to them. UFC security soon intervened, and Moraes wasn’t going to focus on bad blood, instead choosing to go back to the hotel and celebrate with his team:
“Jimmie was trying to stop his coach, his coach was the mad man. His family was a little upset, too. I tried to say hello and they want to kill me a little bit, they tried to spit at me a little bit,” said Marlon. “But that’s okay, bro. UFC security is the best. After that, we went to the hotel and ate pizza and it’s all celebration. It’s done and I want to look forward to the next challenge.”