Sorry fight fans, but it looks like this one is going to get worse before it gets better.
Wolfslair MMA Academy today released an "official statement" regarding the tomfoolery that occurred before, during and after the UFC 127 co-main event between Michael Bisping and Jorge Rivera last Saturday night (Feb. 26) at the Acer Arena in Sydney, Australia.
"El Conquistador" went full-bore into his pre-fight promotion, littering the information superhighway with quotes, videos and anything else he could get his name on in an effort to embarrass the smug Englishman prior to their 185-pound scrap "down under."
Unfortunately Rivera couldn't put his money where his mouth was, relenting under a British assault in the second round -- that may or may not have been helped by Bisping's illegal knee earlier in the fight.
UFC President Dana White has promised "disciplinary action" while the Rivera camp wants an investigation into the first round foul and as for Bisping? Well, here's what Wolfslair Manager Anthony McGann had to say:
"I would like to give our take on what happened in Australia. Let me begin first by saying that in five years of competing in the UFC at every level, we have never encountered a more unprofessional outfit as Jorge Rivera’s camp. All the teams who rub shoulders regularly at all the events are always polite, respectful and courteous to each other. Regardless of any of the fighters smack talk or actions. all the camps will attest to this. Along comes this Phinney guy out of the blue, he is Rivera’s boxing coach and the guy who features heavily in the YouTube videos making fun of Mike Bisping."
"These video’s were made with two purposes. One was to promote their tee shirt line ranger up and the second was to goad Mike into a brawl as this was their only chance of winning the fight. Okay well no problem so far, business is business and if that’s how they rely to win a fight then more power to them. The video’s poked fun at Mike in a personal way and to English people in general and had a huge amount of success. If you combine the numbers on YouTube over the four video’s I believe were in the half million bracket. That is phenomenal considering the campaign was over three weeks. So let’s be clear this wasn’t just banter going back and forth it was significant. Once again at this stage still no problem. It was adding hype to the fight."
"The real problems begin in the hotel in Australia. As always fighters are staying in close proximity in the hotel for over a week and during the day the camps pass each other. Normally the fighters will be tense with their opponent but the teams always remain neutral and polite. Rivera’s crew were mocking mike and laughing at him and Jorge even gave an interview to Fanhouse saying if Mike was a man he would confront him in the hotel."
"This situation was the reason for the emotional weigh-ins and throughout the catalyst was Phinney. In fact Rivera had two more coaches who never participated in any of this, they did act professional. It was always Rivera and Phinney. If you look at all the ranger up YouTube stuff it seems Phinney is the driving force behind the company and it was him even up to the point on the scale who was constantly goading Mike. I believe he should have concentrated more on real fight preparation like we did than silly childish games and behaviour."
The rest of the official statement can be read at the Wolfslair MMA website by clicking here.