History in the making: Michael Bisping spits his way into UFC hall of shame

Ryan Pierse

"I was out of order. It’s not how a mixed martial artist should be acting; not how any man should be acting. Of course, I do regret it, and I owe the UFC an apology and I won’t be acting like that again. I’m ashamed of myself and I have apologized. Rivera should be man enough to do the same." --Michael Bisping

Not since Keith Hernandez ambushed Cosmo Kramer outside Shea Stadium, has one man's magic loogey gotten so much mainstream media attention.

Leave it to Michael Bisping.

"The Count" -- no stranger to controversy throughout the course of his mixed martial arts (MMA) career -- once again found himself under fire for his behavior. This time, for his actions in the moments following his technical knockout win over Jorge Rivera, which took place at the UFC 127 event back on Feb. 27, 2011, inside the Acer Arena in Sydney, Australia.

Why so serious?

After all, the brash Brit has made a career out of talking tough (example) and when push comes to shove, he usually backs it up inside the cage. But Rivera knew how to push all the right buttons, using his sponsors at Ranger Up to taunt "The Count" and get under his skin.

This video comes to mind.

But there would be no more talk once the cage door closed "Down Under" and both Bisping and Rivera would ultimately settle their differences inside the cage. Afterward, they could go their separate ways and move on like a couple of pros, right?

As if.

From round one of our UFC 127 results and play-by-play:

Bisping ducks under for another double-leg takedown. Rivera with full guard. Hard right from the top by Bisping. OH and Bisping lands an illegal knee to a downed opponent. Rivera was clearly down, he had both knees on the mat and Bisping landed a clean hard knee to his forehead. Rivera is clearly stunned and hurt but he says he can continue. Bisping loses a point.

The point deduction would not be a factor as Bisping was able to stop Rivera in the second round. Whether or not the knee to the dome changed the trajectory of the fight is unknown, but after it was waved off by referee Marc Goddard, Rivera's corner went nuts.

Bisping turned to face them, hocked up a loogey, and let that sumbitch fly.

"His cornermen was still screaming abuse at me, calling me a motherfucker, an asshole, a piece of shit after the fight and at my cornermen, he was still screaming obscenities there and then," Bisping would say after the fight. "No (I didn't deliberately spit at Jorge Rivera's corner), I was spitting on the floor to him to let him know what I thought of him."

The video replay would prove otherwise.

After the fact, UFC President Dana White blasted his former Ultimate Fighter (TUF) coach, not just for the spitting incident, but also for the illegal knee, one White insisted was "intentional." Bisping was faced with disciplinary action, including a loss of his win bonus.

And he was quickly branded Michael Spitsbing.

But any hope of putting this entire charade behind him ended when the promotion announced that Tim Kennedy would be the latest fighter to tangle with "The Count," in the main event of TUF: "Nations" Finale on April 16, 2014 in Quebec, Canada.

Kennedy is also sponsored by Ranger Up.

It should come as no surprise then, to learn that Kennedy picked up right where "El Conquistador" left off, cranking out more Bisping videos -- with a few familiar faces -- ahead of their 185-pound grudge match. Hopefully, these two can at least get through the opening frame without any fouls.

And close out the FOX Sports 1 broadcast without a spit decision.

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