Michael Bisping and Jorge Rivera will meet on the main card at UFC 127, which takes place on Saturday, Feb. 26, at the Acer Arena in Sydney, Australia.
This middleweight bout will be on the pay-per-view card, which begins at 10 p.m. ET.
This bout has developed into quite the grudge match as Fight Night nears. The first volley was thrown by Rivera, who posted several YouTube videos poking fun at Bisping.
As the fight neared, it became clear that Bisping did not appreciate the videos…at all.
"The guy’s 38 years old. You’d think he’d grow up and mature. He’s going on like a childish teenager. I’ll leave him to his stupid games and believe me, I’m training to kick his [expletive] ass," Michael Bisping told the U.K’s “The Independent.”
Rivera (19-7) made his MMA debut in 2001 and his UFC debut in 2003. Until this fight, Rivera had been a mostly unknown quantity to the casual MMA fan. He has set out to change that at UFC 127.
"I watch guys like Chael Sonnen, who was basically going through the same thing,” Rivera revealed to Sherdog. “He was a good fighter not getting the notoriety that he wanted. He starts talking a little bit, and the whole world starts watching.”
"I’m thinking to myself, that’s the one thing that I feel MMA can learn from boxing. We have to be able to get people to want to watch this fight. Nobody wants to watch something more than two people who don’t like each other.”
Rivera is on a three-fight winning streak, defeating Nate Quarry by second-round TKO in March of last year.
Speaking about his fight with Bisping, Rivera told UFC.com, “It’s a good fight. He’s got good cardio, he’s got decent standup, he’s been working his ground and pound.
"He fought Dan Miller and Denis Kang, who are both very good black belts and they weren’t able to submit him, so at the very least, he can avoid submissions. He’s also got decent takedowns, so it’s not like I’m thinking that he’s gonna be a walk in the park. I expect a fight.
"And if he sits there and wants to fight and not run away, I’m gonna knock him out.”
Bisping took every chance he had to disparage Rivera at the pre-fight press conference and got in his face when the fighters were matched up for photos after the presser.
That bad blood spilled over to the post weigh-in staredown as Bisping immediately unleashed a string of insults when the two fighters faced off.
Bisping told “The Sydney Morning Herald,” “I'm not trying to act tough, believe me, but the worst thing to do to me is make me angry,'' Bisping said. ''I fight way harder when I'm pissed off. I'm loving it, keep making your videos, Jorge, because he's going to eat his words.''
Bisping is on a two-fight winning streak, his last fight being a unanimous decision victory over Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 120.
All the talk and all the bad blood leads one to believe that this fight will be a stand up war, with each fighter looking for a knockout.