Jorge Rivera is about to enter into one of the most high-profile bouts of his career, as he will take on UK MMA standout Michael Bisping in the co-main event of the upcoming UFC 127: Penn vs. Fitch fight card. Rivera is considered by most to be an underdog against “The Count,” who has established himself as one of the UFC’s top middleweights since winning season three of The Ultimate Fighter in 2006. Though the oddsmakers are against him, Rivera recently told theGarv.com that he is coming to bring the fight to Bisping and that the British kickboxer may very well end up taking a forced nap by the end of the bout.
“I expect him to talk and say he’s gonna want to stand,” Rivera speculated of Bisping’s strategy. “But I think as soon as I hit him hard he’s gonna want to take me down and play the top game, work his ground and pound. Maybe run and try to gas me out. He’ll do things that I think would be smart on his behalf to do. So that’s what I’m expecting from him. If he gives me something else, great. The thing that I really want to do, to be very honest with you, is to give the fans a real exciting fight. If he comes out and wants to stand and trade with me, if I knock him out, boom, that’s exactly what I wanted. If he knocks me out, f*** it, so be it. Let the fans enjoy it. I just don’t see it going down that way.”
Rivera’s main goal is to provide an exciting fight for the fans one way or another, but “Él Conquistador” believes in his training and says he is prepared to quickly dispatch of Bisping if he takes their fight lightly.
“There’s a very good chance he’s going to sleep,” he said. “This is how I fight: I come forward and I look to knock you out. I’ve been crushing my jiu-jitsu for the last few years. I’ve got a great jiu-jitsu coach and I work out with the Florian brothers… I am very grateful for the team that I have. In the past 2 or 3 years my game has gotten a lot better. If Bisping thinks he’s gonna walk over me, he’s got another thing coming. Honestly, I just hope I give a great performance to show the people what I have.”
UFC 127 is scheduled to go down on February 27th at the Acer Arena in Sydney, Australia and will feature a main event between former UFC light and welterweight champion BJ Penn and top welterweight contender Jon Fitch.