(Hearing that punching him in the face is becoming so popular, Bisping wants to see what all the fuss is about. PicProps: Sherdog)
OK, quick show of hands: Are there any resurgent UFC middleweights out there who don’t want to fight Michael Bisping? C’mon guys, anybody? … Anybody? This is going to be a problem.
Granted, you don’t have to hang around Bisping very long to understand why he’s considered one of MMA’s most-punchable faces, but it still strikes us as odd that the former “TUF” winner has suddenly become the go-to guy for 185-pounders who want to make a name for themselves. In just the last month or so, Alessio Sakara, Jorge Rivera and Demian Maia have all publicly stated their desire to fight Bisping. The Brit is so sought-after in fact that his potential suitors are now arguing amongst themselves about who should get the first chance at him. Case-in-point: After Maia told GracieMag.com following last weekend’s win over Kendall Grove that there was talk of a potential bout between himself and Bisping, Rivera’s manager essentially told Maia to step the fuck off on Wednesday.
"Demian’s comments are misplaced," the awesomely-named Lex McMahon told MMA Junkie. "It’s Jorge’s fight. He’s going to carry the torch and he’s going to take Bisping out … Maia is out there trying to promote a fight and that’s fine. I respect that. It’s what I do for my guys, but it’s Jorge’s fight. Period."
Word is that Rivera was offered the fight with Bisping “only moments” after his scheduled bout with Sakara was canceled due to the Italian’s weak stomach. McMahon says bout agreements have now been signed by both parties and it’s still expected to go down at UFC 127 in Australia. Not that the UFC is above yanking the rug out from under a guy at the last minute, right Jake Ellenberger?
As we told you a week ago, Bisping is getting a little knackered that all these wankers want a row with him, but since he says he intends to punish Rivera by beating him up in the cage, calling him out seems like one of the easier PR tricks in the game today. As for McMahon employing the “we saw him first” defense against Maia’s attempts to horn in on “El Conquistador’s” networking opportunities … well, we’re dealing with MMA fighters here … what do you think McMahon’s proposed solution is?
"If Maia wants to step up after Jorge beats Bisping, Jorge’s happy to fight him," McMahon said. "Jorge’s job is to put on exciting fights and to create an amazing experience for the fans while he does so. That’s his job and he’s going to do it."