The co-main event at UFC 127 featured Michael Bisping and Jorge Rivera in what had developed into a grudge match in the weeks leading up to their middleweight contest.
Rivera had been posting videos on YouTube that took pointed shots at Bisping. By the time the pre-fight press conference rolled around, it was clear that Bisping was annoyed with Rivera.
During the question and answer session, Bisping took every chance he could to direct a biting comment at Rivera. Rivera, for the most part, sat silent on the dais; his baseball cap pulled low.
When the fighters faced off for the staredown, Bisping unleashed a string of insults at Rivera.
The bad blood spilled over into the weigh-in when the two fighters had to be physically separated by UFC president, Dana White.
In a way, the fight was anti-climatic due to the way it ended. Bisping landed an illegal knee to the head of Rivera during the first round. The knee caused Rivera to spend several minutes recovering while he was attended to by the cageside doctor. Rivera eventually opted to continue, only to be TKO'd in the second round from Bisping's punches.
Following his TKO victory, Bisping approached Rivera's cornermen and spat in their direction.
In an exclusive interview with The Telegraph, Bisping apologized for his behavior at UFC 127 stating, "As a father, as a mixed martial artist, or possibly even as a role model, it’s not a way I should be behaving. It’s not how a mixed martial artist should be acting; not how any man should be acting. Of course, I do regret it, and I owe Dana [White, UFC president], and the UFC an apology and I won’t be acting like that again.”
Bisping's tolerance may be put to the test if he faces one of the fighters who has requested a fight with him. This includes Chael Sonnen, who is known as one of the top trash talkers in the UFC.
At this time, no opponent has been chosen for Bisping's next fight. But he has no shortage of interested parties—including Sonnen, Nate Marquardt and Vitor Belfort.