February 26, 2011

I Hope The Fight Will Be As Good As The Trash-talking

UFC 127 is rolling around tonight, and the fight I'm most interested in watching is Jorge "El Conquistador" Rivera vs. Michael "The Count" Bisping.

Ranger Up (Rivera's sponsor) has been putting up videos on Youtube one after another mocking Bisping. Rivera's trash-talk leading up to this fight has been epic (and no those three videos aren't the only ones), and has made this fight both very personal for Bisping, who is making a second run at the middleweight title and considers the 38-year-old Rivera an over-the-hill loud-mouth standing in his way.

And you know what? Bisping has a point. Rivera is closing in the end of his career (only a handful of fighters can compete at the elite level past the page of 40), and no one thinks his string of recent victories will result in a late career surge to the top. Bisping is the more talented striker and is very elusive, even if he lacks knockout power. He should easily outpoint Rivera for a easy decision victory.

But old age and treachery are a dangerous thing. Rivera is trying to get inside Bispings head, and is trying to get Bisping to stand toe-to-toe with him and bang. Rivera may not be the more talented striker, but he is the harder hitter of the two, and if he can negate Bisping's movement advantage via head games, well, that's all part of the fight.

The main event of UFC 127 is still going to be BJ Penn vs Jon Fitch and it should easily be the better fight, but I suspect internet wagering is going to pick-up for the Bisping-Rivera fight purely on the strength of the smack being tossed around.

That's a good thing for Dana White's promotion. Quite frankly, the other fights on the card feature fighters with much less name recognition. Without the drama drummed up by Rivera and the Ranger Up crew, this event might not even be worth watching.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at February 26, 2011 10:50 AM