This past weekend, Jorge Rivera sat helplessly backstage at UFC 122 while news broke his opponent, Alessio Sakara, would be withdrawing from their co-headlining bout due to illness. However, while Rivera watched an important opportunity unexpectedly slip away in Germany, it appears another, far greater one presented itself to the respected middleweight while backstage at the event.
According to a conversation with Swedish outlet Kimura, “El Conquistador” revealed he will be fighting Michael Bisping at UFC 127 in Sydney this February.
Rivera, who has emerged victor in his last three fights, also made it clear he already had a loose gameplan entering the upcoming match-up, saying, “I not only want the fight – I want to f*ck him up.”
The Brit will represent the highest-profile opponent the Northeasterner has faced since returning to the UFC after competing in the Ultimate Fighter Season 4. “The Count”, who is easily the company’s biggest star in the UK, has transitioned his TUF 3 title-win into a good deal of success inside (and out of) the Octagon. He holds an overall record of 20-3 and most recently won back-to-back bouts against Yoshihiro Akiyama and Dan Miller.
UFC 127 is scheduled for February 27th and, in addition to Bisping vs. Rivera, is rumored to feature a clash between well-rounded welterweight contenders Chris Lytle and Carlos Condit. The show marks the UFC’s second venture into Australia and will come almost exactly a year after this past February’s UFC 110.