The post fight actions by UFC middleweight Michael Bisping aren’t going unnoticed, especially by the team supporting Jorge Rivera.
Bisping won the fight, finishing Rivera by TKO in the 2nd round, but not without controversy both before and after the fight was over. Bisping nailed Rivera with an illegal knee in the first round that cost him a point from the referee, and nearly stopped the fight.
Rivera, who had a glazed over look in his eyes following the blow, told the referee he could continue and the action restarted, but he never seemed to clear the cobwebs after the knee.
Regardless, Rivera stuck around to fight and Bisping brought it to him. The Brit unloaded heavy shots on him in the 2nd round before he dropped to his knees and the fight was stopped. Now the team behind Rivera at Alchemist Management are calling for punishment for Bisping starting out with the illegal knee, which they believe was anything but accidental.
“Michael Bisping’s conduct in the Octagon at UFC 127 was unconscionable, unprofessional, and smacks of a man with no morals or character. During the first round of their fight, Jorge Rivera had both knees on the canvas when Bisping stopped, sized Jorge up, and delivered a massive knee to a vulnerable and downed opponent,” read the statement. “This knee was illegal and clearly intentional.
“The rules that govern the sport are in place to protect the health and well being of the fighters. Bisping blatantly broke these rules and there has to be accountability. A professional fighter knows when to pull the trigger on a strike and when not to, so for Bisping to say he did not intend to throw the knee is disingenuous.”
Bisping followed up the 2nd round TKO by removing his mouthpiece and then heading over to his corner where he had a few more words for Rivera’s boxing trainer Matt Phinney. During a series of videos Rivera and his camp made mocking Bisping before the fight, Phinney had portrayed the British fighter.
While Bisping states he never spat at Phinney, although video seems to show proof to the contrary. Whatever happened, Rivera’s management team is calling for Bisping to be punished for his actions.
“Bisping’s conduct after he was awarded the TKO is not acceptable. Taunting and spitting at and on Jorge’s coach Matt Phinney is the deplorable conduct of a school yard bully. Like all bullies Mr. Bisping needs to be punished. In this instance it would be appropriate if Bisping is fined and suspended by the athletic commission and/or the UFC.”
Bisping maintains his actions afterwards as simply a heated exchange, and he apologized for stepping over the line during the post fight press conference.
For Rivera’s part, he’s recovering well now, and will head back home to get back to work before calling the UFC for another fight. He also has no plans on apologizing for the series of videos he made prior to the fight that put Bisping in a rage before, during and after their fight in Australia.
“Jorge Rivera could have decided to not continue fighting and walked away with the win because he was clearly dazed and not himself. Instead he took the warrior’s path and fought on. Jorge is to be commended for his toughness and desire to give the fans the fight they paid to see. Jorge takes great pride in the efforts he made to promote the fight and fully supports the pre-fight videos he used in an unprecedented manner to drive interest in UFC 127.
In no way were Jorge’s remarks or videos anything more than marketing designed to take Michael Bisping out of his game. Jorge would like his fans to know that he tried to give them the performance they deserve. He looks forward to the opportunity to step into the Octagon again fight for the UFC and his fans.”
As for Bisping, there’s no word if the UFC will opt for any kind of punishment for his actions after the fight or not.
The other result from the fallout of Bisping’s performance is that he’s raised the ire of a few other fighters in the division. In the past 24 hours alone, fighters like Chael Sonnen and Vitor Belfort have already seemingly thrown their hats in the ring, ready to take up the cause as Bisping’s next opponent.
The UFC has made no official decisions regarding who Bisping will face next however.