TORONTO - The feud between Michael Bisping and Jorge Rivera finally came to a head at UFC 127.
But an illegal knee nearly ended the bout prematurely. And Bisping now faces punishment for allegedly spitting on an opponent’s coach.
Leading up to the fight, Rivera mocked the British middleweight in YouTube videos.
The tactic created hype over the fight and upset Bisping, who exploded at the weigh-in in Sydney and had to be held back by UFC boss Dana White.
When they squared off in the octagon, Bisping scored a couple quick takedowns and then kneed Rivera flush in the forehead as he was attempting to get to his feet.
The fight was nearly stopped because of the illegal blow. But Rivera, who was in a lose-lose situation, chose to go on.
El Conquistador managed a few strikes afterward, but nothing noteworthy.
Bisping unloaded a flurry of punches in the second round, causing Rivera to turtle and the fight was stopped.
Rivera tried to apologize, but Bisping wanted none of it as he told him to “go home loser!” Bisping later reluctantly hugged Rivera.
And before leaving the octagon he apologized to the fans and his boss, “Mr. White,” for losing his cool.
But during the aftermath of the fight, cameras apparently captured Bisping spitting in the direction of Rivera’s team. And a cornerman claims he was hit by the flying saliva.
The UFC says it is probing the incident and Bisping may be punished.