Since rumors of his fight with Michael Bisping first started circulating, UFC veteran Jorge Rivera has been unusually outspoken about his desire to fight the Brit, and appears to be in no doubt that he will emerge victorious when they lock horns in the co-main event of UFC 127 on February 26th.
“I’m very confident going into this fight and I’m feeling I’m not just going to beat him, but finish him,” Rivera says in his pre-fight interview with UFC.com.
Rivera’s confidence is flying high after producing a three fight winning run in the promotion recently, and he believes he’s got what it takes to dismantle Bisping on the feet.
“I think I hit harder than he does, I think my stand-up skills are better than his. I think he’s going to try to take me down and ride the top game, which is cool man, my jiu-jitsu game is good too, you know what I mean. And I know what he’s going to say…’Oh, I’ve fought black belts.’ I’ve fought black belts too.”
Rivera’s stand-up credentials certainly are impressive. Since his stint on TUF Season 4, four of his five victories have come by either KO or TKO. His ground game is a little more open to debate though, with three of his seven losses being by submission.
At the age of 38 the clock is ticking for Rivera, and it’s clear that it’s now or never for him if he wants to reach the summit of the division. A win against Bisping could propel him into the title picture, while a loss would likely write off any chance of him fighting for the belt in his career.
Either way the desire to compete and test himself is still there.
“I fight to be No.1, I want to be No.1. I want to get as high as I can. I fight for pride too, I’m proud. I want to find out just how good I am.”
It also feels like this fight is personal for him. His dislike for Bisping is evident in his comments directed at him.
“I am not the other guys you’ve fought. I’m not going to cower from you motherf*cker, I’m coming to fight.”
I’d actually question that statement given that Bisping has spent the last few years fighting a string of opponents with the same gameplan, including Chris Leben, Dan Henderson, Denis Kang, Wanderlei Silva and Yoshihiro Akiyama, but it certainly gives an indication of how fired up Rivera is for this fight.
Check out the full interview below.