At UFC 133, Jorge “El Conquistador” Rivera (19-8) will square off against Serra-Longo Fight Team pupil Constantinos Philippou (7-2) at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
“El Conquistador” was originally scheduled to meet American Top Team middleweight Alessio Sakara until the Italian fighter had to pull out due to a torn ACL.
Philippou is 4-1 in his last five bouts with a no contest to Marcus Finch at Ring of Combat 32. The Cypriot was also originally scheduled to face Rafael “Sapo” Natal, but the UFC offered the New York based fighter a chance to fight Rivera on the main card; an offer he gladly accepted.
Rivera was last seen in the Octagon when he met TUF Season 3 winner Michael Bisping in at UFC 127 in a bout that has since been plagued with controversy.
The former U.S. Army Cavalryman angered Bisping with his pre-fight videos. Bisping landed an illegal knee strike during the fight, and post-fight the former “Ultimate Fighter” spit at Rivera’s corner.
“It is what it is, you know what I mean?” Rivera told MMAWeekly Radio.
“Did I deserve it? Maybe, after all that (expletive), yeah. Did I hype the fight? Yeah. I’m here to entertain people; that’s my job. Does it rub some people the wrong way? Yeah, at the end of the day none of these people pay my bills, none of them take care of me. This is what I do for a living.
“I wanted people to want to see that fight. I didn’t mind polarizing people. I’m coming to do my job and I don’t mind pissing off the guy whose face I intend on punching because he’s going to try and hurt me too.”
Along with his sponsor Ranger Up, Rivera made those pre-fight videos to entertain the fans. According to “El Conquistador,” the company has not only supported him in his mixed martial arts career, but has also treated him like family and has done wonders for the Armed Forces.
“I started working with Ranger Up right before the Nissen Osterneck fight. I was with an ex-partner who at the time was managing me. He and I were having a rocky relationship. Ranger Up calls me and they’re like, ‘hey, we want to sponsor you and this and that,’ so I turn it over to him. He’s trying to highball them and they’re like, ‘this is all we can do for him,’ so we accepted.
“Me and this guy had a complete fallout, we had a business together. The whole business goes under and Ranger Up comes in. When I tell you that these guys are my brothers, I love them. I can’t tell you how much gratitude I owe this guy. What he’s done for me personally and professionally, I love them.”