Michael Bisping overcame all the pre-fight trash talk and TKO’d Jorge Rivera in round two of the co-main event at UFC 127.
Although he won the fight decisively, Bisping landed an illegal knee to the head of his opponent, leaving Rivera dazed for the remainder of the opening round.
After a feeling out process for just over a minute, Bisping scored a nice takedown, but the fight didn’t stay down on the ground for a long time. The two returned to their feet and Rivera began the in-cage trash talk, fueling Bisping’s rage. A short while later, Bisping tripped his opponent for a second take down. He stood to his feet and, while Rivera was still on his knees, Bisping threw the illegal knee to his opponent’s head. Rivera looked very wobbly, but after doctor’s examined him, referee Mark Goddard allowed the fight to continue, but deducted a point from Bisping for the illegal strike.
Although the knee strike clearly shook him, Rivera came out looking to hurt Bisping and pressure his opponent. Rivera seemed to calm down with a little over a minute left to go in the round, opening up an opportunity for Bisping to take him down one more time. The round ended with Bisping talking a little trash on the way back to their corners.
The second round started with the two trading leg kicks. Later, a strong right hand by Rivera dropped Bisping, but he didn’t finish the British fighter. Bisping later connected with a right of his own and overwhelmed his opponent with power punches against the fence. Rivera dropped down to cover up and that is where the fight ended. The referee stepped in at 1:54 of the second round.
In his post-fight interview, Bisping was apologetic to the UFC president, Dana White, for allowing the emotion to take over with the illegal knee.
“I’m a sensitive guy,” he said. “I apologize…for losing control. I respect (Rivera) as an opponent. He talked so much (expletive).
“I apologize, Mr. White”
With the win, Michael Bisping moves another step up the middleweight ladder in the UFC. Since losing to Wanderlei Silva at the same venue a year ago, Bisping has reeled off three wins in a row. It will be interesting to see what the UFC decides to do with him now.