Rivera too old, too rusty

CHRIS DOUCETTE, Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 1:27 PM ET

TORONTO - Weeks of verbal jabs come to an end Saturday night as Jorge Rivera and Michael Bisping let their fists do the talking in the Acer Arena at UFC 127.

The clash between the two fighters in Sydney, Australia, has likely received more attention than it would have had El Conquistador not posted a series of home movies on YouTube mocking and insulting The Count.

The American definitely got into the Brit’s head with his funny, albeit childish, videos. And now that the two men are done with the verbal assaults, it’ll be interesting to see if the brawl we’ve been promised comes to fruition.

I wouldn’t count on it.

Bisping is a solid striker and will want to fight on his feet. That will be just fine by Rivera, also a striker.

Both are capable of knockout power, but Rivera hasn’t fought for a year.

He also turns 39 within 24 hours of the fight. Funny enough, his opponent turns 32 that same day.

Interestingly, Bisping has won three Fight of the Night awards and he has never submitted in the octagon.

Between the ring rust and the seven-year age difference, expect Bisping to win, likely by knockout.

The George Sotiropoulos and Dennis Siver fight should also be interesting.

Sotiropoulos is touted to be the best MMA fighter in Australia and he’ll have home crowd advantage as he fights the German kick-boxer.

What Siver lacks in personality, he makes up for with an awesome spinning back kick.

But I like Sotiropoulos. Expect him to make Siver tap.

The Chris Lytle versus Brian Ebersole bout is worth a look.

Ebersole has a ton of MMA experience but this is his first crack at the UFC. He steps in for the injured Carlos Condit against a tough opponent.

Lytle has won four Fight of the Night awards, two Submission of the Nights and one Knockout of the Night, so this should be fun to watch.

Expect Lytle to submit Ebersole. He’s called “Lights Out” Lytle for a reason.

chris.doucette@sunmedia.ca


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