UFC 127- Bisping vs Rivera

by B Thornton- Harwood

UFC 127 took place on Saturday the 26th, in Sydney, Australia and to be honest the only match I was even slightly interested in was the UK’s very own Micheal Bisping against Jorge Rivera.

Bisping was expected to win, but it was the pre-fight build up and trash talking from Rivera and his camp via YouTube videos taking the piss of the Brit, his accent and interview style that made the fight so anticipated. 

The actual spectacle didn’t disappoint either, Rivera landing a few hard right hooks that he’s so famous for before Bisping put his superior takedown skills to work, putting Rivera on the mat, and then it happened; as Jorge was getting to his feet Bisping fired his knee into the forehead of his downed opponent, a very blatant illegal move which had the match brought to a halt for a few moments whilst both the ref and ring-side doctors checked on Rivera.

All parties decided he was good to continue but he was a shade of his former self with legs like a baby giraffe and glazed eyes.

The second round ended after a mere minute 54 when Bisping put Rivera up against the fence and pounded him to the mat winning by TKO through strikes.

After the fight Bisping went to Rivera’s corner and apparently spat at his coaching staff who partook in the previously mentioned videos.

Since Saturday night there have been countless arguments on internet forums over Bispings conduct during the fight, and is now being hailed the most unpopular man in the UFC.

Now he claims that “the knee certainly wasn’t on purpose,” and put the incident down to “[pulling] the trigger too early. It happens a lot. This is a fast-moving sport. No one wants to see a fight won or lost in that fashion.”

Perhaps it’s my bias as a Brit coming through but I buy this story. Accidents like this happen during fights, Jon Jones’ disqualification against Matt Hamill for example, but as Bisping states, no one wants to win or loose a fight like that.

Secondly there’s no way he could’ve delivered a knee like that just to incapacitate Rivera to ensure he won the fight. In the moment with adrenalin pumping I don’t believe one could deliver a strike like that just to aid in their win, particularly with the bad blood between the pair.

The spitting incident which Bisping is claiming was not directed at coaching staff but at the mat is a different matter entirely. Spitting is unsportsmanlike, unprofessional and frankly made him look like a dick.

Of course there are some perks to being the UFC’s most hated man. For a start everyone wants to see you get a beat down, which means more hype for your fights and that means more money.

Besides, being the only dominant Brit in the sport means he’ll have the unconditional support of many fans this side of the pond,whilst I can’t be the only one whose love for him only grows as his level of douche baggery increases.