UFC middleweight and unofficial ambassador for English MMA Michael “The Count” Bisping is scheduled to take on Jorge Rivera in the co-main event of the upcoming UFC 127 fight card. Speaking with MMAJunkie.com recently, Bisping revealed that he was uninterested in the matchup until Rivera began talking trash.
“I had to take the fight just to shut him up,” Bisping said. “He’s acting like an [expletive], and nothing but an [expletive]. He’s not being professional. He’s just being a prick.”
It may not be his goal, but “The Count” has had a knack for riling people up since he appeared on the big scene as a contestant on The Ultimate Fighter 3. Though he has always been one to speak his mind, Bisping feels that his reputation as a trash talker is undeserved, as he basically keeps to himself until fight time.
“They’re all just jumping on the bandwagon that it’s cool to hate Bisping,” Bisping said. “I don’t give anyone any [expletive]. I live in a tiny town in the northwest of England. I don’t bump into anyone. I’m not going around to all the fights and bigwigging it and going to parties and getting in everyone’s face and talking [expletive]. I’m looking after my three kids and keeping a low profile. These [expletive] jump on the bandwagon (and think) it’s cool to hate Bisping, and they all talk [expletive] trying to score points.”
“The Count” explained to MMAJunkie that he generally treats opponents with respect until he feels goaded into talking matches. In this case, Rivera’s trash talk motivated Bisping to take a fight in which he otherwise has no interest.
“I didn’t want to take the fight because I feel he’s beneath me,” Bisping said. “But I have to take the fight now and teach him a lesson. People say I talk a lot of trash and talk a lot of [expletive], and I disagree. I tend to keep it respectful for the most part until people start attacking me and talking [expletive] about me. Obviously, I’m going to respond to that.”
Since the gauntlet has now been thrown down, Bisping is ready to engage in a war of words with Rivera, and took a parting shot in his interview.
“Enjoy your time as co-main event while it lasts because you’ll be back to the undercard after this one,” he said.