It seems like Michael “The Count” Bisping got the last laugh in his feud with Jorge Rivera–provided Rivera’s camp doesn’t push for his suspension due to his illegal knee strike and rude post-fight behavior, as was suggested in the post-fight press conference–as he defeated “Él Conquistador” via TKO in the second.
Things were fairly even in the early going, the stand up exchanges were competitive, Bisping scored a takedown easily but Rivera got back to his feet with almost as much ease. Still in the first round though, Bisping landed a hard knee to Rivera while both of his knees were in contact with the mat. The blatantly illegal strike cost Bisping a point off the first round and had Rivera wobbly for several tense moments before insisting he could fight on.
From there, Bisping took control. Despite a nice right hand to open the second, Rivera had trouble finding a home for any of his offense, while “The Count” began to land frequently with combinations. The damage finally accumulated and Rivera started to wither while Bisping poured on the punches, kicks and knees while they fought against the cage. Rivera sunk to the mat and referee Marc Goddard called an end to the bout.
Immediately after defeating Rivera, Bisping ignored his initial attempts at reconciliation and offered both Rivera and his camp harsh words–and apparently spit at some point–which, coupled with the knee strike, casts a bit of a shadow on his victory.
“Jorge’s camp talked a lot of s–t coming into this fight,” said Bisping after the fight. “I apologize for getting a little worked up there. I respect Jorge as an opponent. I didn’t understand it. I never said anything bad about him. I felt they were going a little below the belt.”
Regardless, Bisping improves to 21-3 overall with the win and has increased his current winning streak to three in a row. Look for “The Count” to be handed the step up in competition he’s been asking for and to likely draw even more boos than normal.