MMA veteran Jorge Rivera knows that he isn’t getting any younger.
In a sport dominated by the newest fighter, Rivera and his 19-8 career record can be overlooked when seeking middleweight contenders.
And while this Saturday’s fight against Constantinos Philippou at UFC 133 isn’t going to decide the next contender to Anderson Silva’s title, he can go a long way in determining Rivera’s future.
At 39-years-old and coming off a loss to Michael Bisping, the native of Massachusetts has already stated his next fight could be his last.
One bout many in the MMA community want to see before Rivera does hang it up involves Alessio Sakara. On three different occasions now, the Rivera-Sakara bout has been called off due to injuries.
In 2010, the Rivera’s arm injury took him out of a match up at UFC 118. Later that year at UFC 122 the two were set to tangle before Sakara came down with a flu-like illness the day of the card.
And now, it is Philippou who replaces Sakara in another contest that Sakara had to pull out of after suffering what has been reported to be a torn ACL in training.
“You know what? I don’t know,” Rivera laughed when we asked if the two will ever meet. “I don’t know. Only God knows that.
“I mean, it’s six months or eight months or maybe even a year for ACL surgery. I don’t know. If that happens, that’s my job. It’s cool.”
Rivera can expect a loud ovation this weekend from the Philadelphia crowd, especially if there is more Boston-area supporters there than New York fans.
“I hope so,” Rivera said. “Whether they’re from Boston or not, as long as they’re cheering for me, I don’t care.”
UFC 133: Evans vs. Ortiz takes place this Saturday, August 6 from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Don’t forget to check back on Saturday for Fightline.com’s live coverage of the event.