Perhaps the biggest talking point of UFC 127 ended up being Michael Bisping’s in-cage antics during and after beating Jorge Rivera.
Everyone has their own opinion on both his illegal knee, and the fact that he appeared to spit at one of Rivera’s cornermen, On this occasion though we’ll boil it down to just two, from MMA veterans Bas Rutten and Phil Baroni who appear to have polar-opposite opinions on the subject.
First up is Rutten who falls in line with what seems to be the majority of people who found the Brit’s actions distasteful and bad for the sport.
“U know what? I watched it again, the fact that he SPITS at the corner of Jorge make me wonder if he really didn’t know what he was doing.
Spitting is one of THE most disrespecting things you can do. He als seems to take a tiny beat, before he gives the knee. Now I start to think he DID know what he was doing.
Spitting? That’s even worse then poking your finger in my chest, and we all know how much I like that.
Everybody gets so wound up from words, if he would say to me that my wife had an STD (this is a story that I am hearing Jorge said about Bisping’s wife), I wouldn’t knee him illegal in the head. I would KO him legally, so NOBODY can say I cheated,(because now they can say this) and then tell him that if there wouldn’t have been a referee, I could have done some fun stuff with him.
You have to separate business and personal stuff, the fighter who fights with emotions, normally loses control and loses the fight, you can’t have that. Now people will say, “Yeah, but in this case emotions let him win the fight”. But that’s not true, he kneed him in the head on purpose, we will NEVER know if he could have stopped Rivera WITHOUT that knee in the face.
You can argue all day long that he would have won anyway, but fact of the matter is, you never know for sure, end of discussion. Now there is always that big question.
Now, is it understandable that somebody loses his cool? Sure it is, I just say how I would have handled it, I also know that there are guys who will actually shoot you for saying a thing like that, again, I am not one of those guys.
So, understandable? yes. Bad that it happened? yes. Not good for MMA? Yes.
But it happened, you can’t turn back the clock, so lets stop talking about it so that other people, who don’t know it yet, are not gonna ask “What are they talking about?” And forget that this incident happened.”
Taking the other side of the argument is Baroni who’s no stranger to controversy in the cage himself. As far as he’s concerned what Bispin did was all part and parcel of the fight game.
“Bisping kicked Rivera’s ass, after a bad blood, bitter rival prefight campain instigated by Rivera and his camp. Why does Mike have to kiss and make up with Rivera after he smashes him? WTF? WHY?
Mike beat his ass broke him physically and even more mentally. Case closed. They had animosity and hatred for each other prefight.
If you want to talk shit prefight, insult, make videos, ect in order to promote YOURSELF the fight or what ever that’s your choice. But after the guy kicks your ass he don’t have to be you be your best friend and hug it out with you. Don’t expect it to be water under the bridge esp after a one sided affair.
Mike deserves a congratulations for stopping Rivera, putting him in his place, and beating a good fighter with a lot of momentum. Mike came to fight and got the victory with ease. Mike took care of his business and and deserves credit for fighting really good last night.”
The man who’s opinion matters most in this instance – Dana White – has yet to speak on the matter though.
Will he look to suspend or fine Bisping as Rivera’s team have suggested, or will he look to brush it under the carpet and move on?
As far as the knee incident goes, there’s no real way to prove one way or another whether Bisping threw it deliberately, and he was deducted a point so that’s likely to be an end to the matter.
The unsportsmanlike shouting at Rivera post-fight is also likely to be largely overlooked as others like Brock Lesnar have done this before and got away with it.
The spitting incident is less clear-cut. This is somewhat of a landmark case so it will be interesting to see what, if anything, the UFC decides to do about it.
My own feeling is that they won’t come down to hard on ‘The Count’ but I’d be surprised if they simply dismissed it since they will want to ensure that it’s clear this kind of behavior is not acceptable.