The pre-fight trash talk between Jorge Rivera and Michael Bisping carried over into the Octagon and exploded when Bisping drilled Rivera with a knee to the head midway through the first round.
Rivera’s manager, Lex McMahon, called for action against Bisping:
“Mr. Bisping is a professional fighter. He needs to be able to differentiate between a downed opponent and a non-downed opponent. If he can’t do that, he needs to not be in this sport. His conduct was irrational, hot-headed and incredibly unprofessional.”
After referee Marc Goddard stopped the fight, Bisping allegedly spit in the direction of Rivera's boxing coach, Matt Phinney.
Bisping claims he didn’t spit on Phinney. Rivera’s camp disagrees. Video shows Bisping spitting, but not where it landed.
UFC president Dana White said Bisping will be punished for intentionally delivering the illegal knee. White also voiced his displeasure with Bisping’s post-fight antics.
“Mr. Bisping needs to be suspended and fined,” McMahon said. “Frankly, I wouldn’t be upset to see him thrown out of the UFC. His actions aren’t acceptable. If MMA is a growing sport, its fighters need to be role models. It’s one thing to promote a fight, but it’s an entirely different matter altogether to act in an unprofessional manner that places the health and welfare of a competitor in jeopardy."
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