It’s a part of sports, and it has been for as long as one man could beat another man, and then show him up with a few parting words. In MMA, certain fighters have taken trash talk to an art form, and for UFC 127 Jorge Rivera became Pablo Picasso.
Along with his main sponsor, Ranger-Up, Rivera released a series of videos aimed at Bisping, and unloaded on him for everything from not finishing a lot of fights to the way he talks during interviews. Nothing was off limits during Rivera’s pre-fight onslaught, and if his mission was to get a rise out of Bisping consider the UFC 127 pre-fight press conference, mission accomplished.
As the fighters fielded questions from reporters, it didn’t take long for Bisping to get the first one about Rivera and he unloaded in response to the myriad of videos that took aim at him during the past few weeks.
“For me, I’ve got a big fight to prepare for, I’m fighting in the premier fighting organization in the world, and I’m trying to behave accordingly. I’m a professional fighter, I’m not an idiot in the schoolyard making up silly rhymes and jokes and making stupid videos,” Bisping said.
“This is a press conference by the way Jorge, this is what you do. I know this is your first time involved in something like this. Welcome to the big leagues. After this, you’ll be back to the undercard, believe me.”
Rivera’s jabs at Bisping obviously did what they were intended to do and get under his skin before the fight ever starts. Throughout his career, Michael Bisping has been known to throw a massive amount of trash talk towards his opponents as well, so it’s only fair that turn about is fair play.
Rivera admitted as much when he was asked about the infamous series of videos.
“Some of it was fun, some of it was to get in his head and you see how he reacts and what’s going on. I’m cool with it,” Rivera commented.
Bisping didn’t stop there however, and he continued to poke at Rivera finally responding to the slew of videos released on the internet before they left for Australia.
“I want to do most of my talking on the night. I’m going to do my talking with my fists, punches, kicks, knees, elbows, jiu-jitsu, wrestling, half of that stuff he doesn’t know what it is. Jorge’s a relic, a throwback to the beginning of mixed martial arts,” Bisping said. “I’m a complete mixed martial artist, and I’ll be showing him that on the night.”
Rivera never seemed ruffled by anything Bisping was saying on Tuesday, and kept his answers short and sweet.
“I look forward to that,” Rivera responded.
When the fighters stood up from the tables and faced off, Bisping continued to jaw at Rivera and eventually the two middleweights had to be separated. The fight may still be a few days away, but there’s still a weigh-in where they will face each other again before meeting in the Octagon.
This war of words may have just begun.