SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 27: Michael Bisping of Great Britain kicks Jorge Rivera of the USA in their middleweight bout part of at UFC 127 at Acer Arena on February 27, 2011 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
There was a lot of anticipation leading into the UFC 127 fight between Michael Bisping and Jorge Rivera. Although many expected Bisping to roll, Rivera drummed up interest in the fight with a series of Internet videos where he trash talked Bisping. Things reached a fever pitch at the show's weigh-in when the two pointed angrily at each other while exchanging expletives. The two met inside the Octagon and went to battle and it was Bisping who walked away the winner via TKO at 1:54 of round 2.
What was the high point of the fight?
Beyond a doubt, the high point was Bisping drilling Rivera with an illegal knee to the head as Rivera kneeled on the canvas in the first round. It appeared Rivera might not be able to continue, but he did. Bisping was docked a point for the flagrant foul but the fight did go on. Following the knee, Rivera wasn't the same fighter.
Where do these guys go from here?
Bisping is working his way toward a title shot having won three straight fights. He's in the mix in a middleweight division that isn't heavy on top contenders. Another win, considering his star power, likely would put him in line for a title opportunity.
Rivera, a journeyman, heads back to the drawing board after putting together a three-fight win streak heading into the fight. It will be interesting to see how the UFC handles him. Given his advanced age, Rivera would be best used in entertaining fights because he is capable of having those.
Watch it now, later or never?
This fight is probably the most newsworthy bout outside of the main event on the entire show. Bisping's actions have been the source of controversy. The fight itself was dramatic because of the tensions involved before, during and after. This is worth watching now and possibly later as you prepare for Bisping's next fight.