My conversation with UFC Middleweight Jorge Rivera:
Q: Your next fight will be at UFC 127 on February 26 in Australia against Michael Bisping. What are your thoughts on Bisping and what he brings to the table as an opponent?
A: I think he’s a tough guy, he’s got great cardio. I think it’s a good fight. Our styles match up well. I present problems for him and he’s going to have a hard time with me.
Q: This will be your 2nd straight fight scheduled for overseas. How do you adjust to the travel and time change?
A: I’ll be fine. I’ll get up there a few weeks early and get adjusted to the time change. I’ll be ready
Q: Going back to your last fight that was called off with Alessio Sakara at UFC 118, when did you find out the fight wasn’t happening?
A: My hands we’re already wrapped. I was ready to go then they walked in and said it wasn’t going down. It was an awkward feeling, like what do I do now. That was it. I asked for my next opponent to be Bisping. One thing led to another and I got what I asked for
Q: Did they tell you why he wasn’t able to fight?
A: They said he was sick. He had the flu, he was throwing up and couldn’t keep his food down. I know Sakara, he’s a tough dude. If he said he was sick I believe him
Q: Your fight at Fight Night 21 against Nate Quarry, you looked great and a lot of people considered that your best performance thus far. Do you agree with that?
A: I don’t know. I thought it was a good fight for me. I thought I performed well. Anytime I go in there I want to get a finish. I really don’t know as far as best performances go, I just go out there and do my job
Q: Some fans new to UFC and MMA might not know you were on season 4 of The Ultimate Fighter. How did you like being on the show?
A: The show was cool. I had a good time doing it. What I learned most from it was how to train smarter and how to surround myself with better trainers and camps. Really, I learned a lot about training, how to prepare myself properly and get the most out of it
Q: Along with you there are some other notable UFC fighters from Boston. What do you think of the local MMA scene?
A: I think its on. We got about 6 or 7 guys who fight in the UFC from around here. It’s a small area but there’s a lot of talent. Boston has always been a fighting town. That’s not going to change its just going to keep getting better.
Q: Do you train with any of the other UFC guys in the area?
A: I try to get with as many of them as possible. I get with Kenny and Keith Florian. I try and get with John Howard and work with him. Pretty much anyone who is going to get my game better. As for other guys in the area you can’t forget about guys like Joe Lauzon and Josh Grispi. That’s the thing about Boston guys, every one of them its going to give you a fight. That’s how we are. You see one of us on the card you know we’re coming out to fight
Q: You fought the current middleweight champion, Anderson Silva, and former champion, Rich Franklin earlier in your career. What did you take from those fights and have you been able to apply anything to your game from facing those opponents.
A: I look at where they are now and where they were when I fought them and I’m just glad to have fought guys that good and to had made a decent fight of both of them. I felt like Anderson did well against me and I gave Rich a good run for his money and I’m happy with my performances
Q: Before I let you go, there anything you want to plug or people you want to acknowledge?
Yeah, thanks to www.rangerup.com, big shout out to alchemist management, what up to MC Hammer, Lex McMahon, Jeff Arrington, and Beamer Saurabh Paul
Watch Jorge in the co-main event of UFC 127 against Michael Bisping on February 26. The show is headlined by BJ Penn vs. Jon Fitch
About the Author
Written by Martin Foster
Martin H. Foster is the author of "The 2nd Round Submission" and host of "Verbal Submission Radio" Follow him at www.twitter.com/MHMFoster