UFC 127 Fight Card Primer: Michael Bisping vs. Jorge Rivera

Bisping vs. Rivera, photo via combatlifestyle.com

Ultimate Fighter season 3 winner Michael Bisping (20-3, 10-3 UFC) faces Jorge Rivera (19-7, 7-5 UFC) in the co-main event of UFC 127. Internet trash talk, including a series of Youtube vignettes produced by Rivera, came to head at the press conference on Tuesday, where Bisping unleashed verbal venom at Rivera through the affair, right up to the staredown.

How do these guys stack up?

Bisping: 31 years old, 6'1", 75.5" reach
Rivera: 38 years old, 6'1", 73" reach

What have they done lately?

Bisping: W - Yoshihiro Akiyama (UD), W - Dan Miller (UD), L - Wanderlei Silva (UD)
Rivera: W - Nate Quarry (TKO), W - Rob Kimmons (TKO), W - Nissen Osterneck (SD)

How did these guys get here?

Michael Bisping won season 3 of the Ultimate Fighter at light heavyweight, where he rattled off a few wins - including a controversial decision over Matt Hamill - before dropping a close fight to Rashad Evans at UFC 78. He decided to move down to middleweight, defeating Charles McCarthy, Jason Day, and Chris Leben. Bisping found himself on the Ultimate Fighter once more; this time coaching opposite of Dan Henderson. The two met at UFC 100 with the fight ending by brutal knockout in Henderson's favor. Bisping has a 3-1 record since the Henderson fight, the lone loss coming to Wanderlei Silva in last year's Australia show.

Jorge Rivera epitomizes the word "journeyman". He bounced around the UFC between 2003 and 2004, including a loss to future middleweight champion Rich Franklin. Rivera fought Anderson Silva in England's Cage Rage promotion in April of 2005. Since his permanent return to the UFC in November of 2006, Rivera has compiled a 5-2 record.

Why should you care?

You shouldn't, though Rivera's done a good job of riling up Bisping in the process. Rivera hasn't beaten anyone of note, and Bisping's one of the heavier favorites on the card at 3.5-to-1. One note: all of Rivera's losses have come by stoppage.

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