Jorge Rivera considers himself an entertainer and expects to put on a good show for the crowd at UFC 122 at the Konig Pilsener Arena in Oberhausen, Germany, against Italian Alessio Sakara.
“I get my job. I get what I’m supposed to do. I’m an entertainer and that’s what I want to do. I want to entertain the people,” Rivera recently told MMAWeekly Radio. “When my name is on the card and you’re watching at home I want you to be like, ‘I can’t wait to see this fight. I know he’s going to come and bring it. It’s going to be exciting and I can’t wait to see him do it.’ That’s who I want to be.
“I want tough fights against tough opponents that are going to be crowd pleasing fights,” he added.
The 38-year-old athlete has logged exciting fights over his career spanning the last nine years, finishing his last two opponents by technical knockout, and believes the stylistic match-up with Sakara will result in an exciting performance.
“I think we match up awesome. It’s going to be a good stand-up war. It if goes to the ground it’s going to be good there too,” said Rivera. “I think both of our ground games are underrated. I know he’s a brown belt. I know he trains at American Top Team. I know he’s solid. I’ve been training my jiu-jitsu now for four years… I’ve improved my game greatly. If you’re sleeping on it, you will get caught. I cannot wait. I don’t care where it goes.”
Rivera is riding a three-fight win streak and attributes his recent success to the people around him and his state of mind.
“It’s a combination of things. It’s life. It’s your approach and attitude toward what your job is and the people you surround yourself with,” said Rivera about his recent success. “I’ve surrounded myself with people that I know love me and have my best interests in heart and have been able to push me to the next level.
“I love where I’m at. I love the people that I’m training with. I’m confident in them,” he continued. “When I step into that cage on Saturday I ain’t going away. I know I’m ready. If he’s not ready I’m going to smash him. If he is ready we’re going to have to fight.”
Confidence goes a long way in fighting. Legendary boxer Mike Tyson emphasized the importance of confidence when he visited Team GSP on “The Ultimate Fighter 12: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck. Sometimes confidence is everything and Rivera’s confidence is high heading into the UFC 122 main event.
“I’m very, very happy about where I am right now,” said Rivera. “I’m confident that I can go in there and compete against anyone. And I’m not just saying that. I know it’s true.”