The war of words between UFC 127 main eventers, Michael Bisping and Jorge Rivera, has heated up since we last reported about it. Rivera published a video with help from his sponsor, Ranger Up, that made fun of Bisping’s striking abilities and compared him to a part of the female anatomy (I will let you use your imagination). In an article in the Manchester Evening News, Bisping responded to his opponent and addressed the situation. “Although I was originally a bit disappointed with the match on paper, Rivera has begun talking rubbish and getting under my skin, to the point where I can’t wait to shut his mouth up.”
Bisping admits that there was no bad blood to start with between the two, “The funny thing is, I’ve met Jorge Rivera once or twice at UFC functions and I’ve always been nothing but a gentleman with him. I’ve never had a problem with the guy and have always shook his hand and wished him the best.” That’s all well and good, but he also admits that he doesn’t mind if there is some friction between. In fact, he prefers it, “I’d like there to be a bit of needle between us, as I haven’t been all that happy with some of the things he’s come out with lately. He obviously feels he needs to speak up and go for my throat a little bit in order to grab some attention for himself.”
“The Count” also claims that Rivera is taking a big step-up in competition when he faces him in the octagon, and that the streak Rivera has been enjoying is nothing to brag about. “His last three opponents haven’t really been up to scratch and, Nate Quarry aside, I don’t even know who the other guys were,” Bisping added insult to injury, saying, “I’d never even heard of their names. Honestly, I Googled them.” Jorge’s last three opponents were Quarry, Nissen Osterneck and Rob Kimmons, so Bisping might have some validity in his argument, but Rivera has also fought Kendall Grove, Rich Franklin, Anderson Silva, and Chris Leben. His record has not held up under the pressure of a bigger name opponent, but Bisping has also crumbled under those same pressures. Come UFC 127, we will see who takes the next step and wins not just the war of the words, but the fight in the cage.