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Bisping shuts up Rivera at UFC 127

Michael Bisping, left, lands a kick to the

Michael Bisping, left, lands a kick to the head of Jorge Rivera in their middleweight bout at UFC 127 at Acer Arena in Sydney, Australia. Bisping won by second-round TKO. (Feb. 26, 2011) Credit: Getty

Here in the world of American family newspaper websites, we can't go all willy nilly and directly repeat the nasty quotes from Jorge Rivera and Michael Bisping leading up to their middleweight bout at UFC 127.

But please trust us when we say it was heated, filthy and filled with more trash than a garbage dump. More often than not, a fight that talks the talk usually trips, rolls an ankle and never quite walks the walk.

Not this time. We had some big punches, a point deduction and a technical knockout as Bisping won the battle of hands and legs on Saturday night. He even won the war of words after the stoppage as he got in Rivera's face and offered a few extra choice words.

"I apologize for maybe losing a little control there," Bisping said.

Bisping (22-3) was dominating the bout with a pair of takedowns in the first round before delivering the illegal knee to a downed Rivera. Rivera (18-8) was on his knees after the second takedown and some minor ground and pound when Bisping got back to his feet and landed the knee square to Rivera's forehead. Bisping lost a point for the illegal knee, and after a few minutes, Rivera continued to fight.

Rivera opened the second round with a big shot that staggered Bisping. About 70 seconds later, Bisping landed a series of monster right hooks that left Rivera standing but not much else. Bisping continued the assault and got the technical knockout with 3:06 left.

It's time to start considering Bisping as a legitimate foe for a middleweight title eliminator match. He's overcome the imagery of that UFC 100 knockout loss to Dan Henderson now. And he's a British fighter with takedowns and a ground game. That in and of itself makes him noteworthy. It's not unreasonable to suggest that Bisping deserves to move in the same circles as Nate Marquardt, Chael Sonnen and Demian Maia.


See UFC 127 fight week photos
Watch UFC 127 live video stream of post-fight press conference

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