When it’s all about going forward in a fight and never backing down, a name will always pop up on the table, Jorge “El Conquistador” Rivera.
With 13 of his victories by way of KO or TKO, there is no doubt whatsoever that this Puerto Rican warrior knows not the meaning of the phrase “going backwards.”
Fighting out of Boston,Mass. and with deep roots in the town of Cayey,Puerto Rico, Jorge has been representing the Latin community with dignity all along his career as a professional athlete in the greatest sport in the world and also the world’s top MMA promotion.
A veteran of 27 fights and a career of over ten years—almost seven of them inside the UFC—Rivera remains relevant not only in his division but in the hearts of MMA fans all over.
The MMA Truth had the opportunity to chat with this pride of all Latins, especially the Puerto Rican fans, and this is what he had to tell us:
TMT’s Angel R. Cordero: Jorge, first of all thank you for taking the time out of training to talk to us at The MMA Truth. How are you?
First I want to thank all you fans out there because without you we wouldn’t be what we are. We would only be fighters who no one would want to see. The fans are the reason we are here so, thank all of you.
I’m good man, training hard like always. I thank God for everything I have, I have my health and I can train hard.
How has training camp been for this fight?
Very hard, I’m trianing my Boxing with Peter Welch in Boston and my BJJ with Tim Burrill in Providence, RI. My “Strength and Conditioning” coach is also pushing me really hard in training. I fell great.
You had already prepared to face Alessio Sakara at co-main event for UFC 122 in Germany but unfortunately Sakara got sick and pulled out of the fight.
What do you think of finally meeting him in the cage and what’s your game plan for him?
For me it’s just another fight like every other fight. Alessio, he is really good, I think people don’t really give him the respect he deserves. The man is a BJJ black belt and is one of the best boxers in UFC.
I know I have a tough fight ahead of me. I understand that if I follow my game plan, I win by KO.
The plan is simply to stand with him, if he wants to take it to the ground, well good. But to tell you the truth Angel, like I always say—you have a game plan and when that bell rings the plan goes out the window.
What can we expect from “El Conquistador” coming into this fight?
Man, I never promise I will win, I only promise that when that bell rings I am hitting him very hard.
I always put this idea in my mind that this man is trespassing into our home and it’s putting me and my family in danger and I am not letting him hurt us. That’s my mentality when I walk in the cage. Honestly, that’s what I do, I imagine my opponent wants to hurt me and my family.
Jorge let’s change the subject for a little bit. It’s late February, 2011. UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez in Puerto Rico promoting the fight, UFC 127, and you in Australia facing Michael Bisping.
The knee heard around the world. We all know what happened and how it all played out but, months after I’d like to ask you. What went trough your mind that night when you went to sleep? What were you thinking about?
In reality, I didn’t know what had happened inside the cage after the fight was stopped. I didn’t know that he had spit on my corner and to tell you the truth, I didn’t even know it was an illegal knee. I was informed of all that afterwards.
I know he did it intentionally and then he denied it. That is one of the reasons why I dislike him so much. He does things and then acts like a baby and can’t be responsible for his actions.
He is a liar and is not man enough to take responsibility for his actions and that’s why it’s hard for me to show him respect.
He could’ve been more of a man and say “yes, I did it. He talked a lot of smack and he deserved it.”
I am more than sure they weren’t going to take the fight away from him or declare it a “No Contest”, he should’ve been more of a man at that press conference and say “f*** Jorge Rivera, he deserved what I did” and I would’ve respected him for that.
But to see how he hits me with an illegal knee, runs to my corner calling me a pussy, spit on my cornermen, and then sit in a pres conference to say “oh I didn’t know, I was too excited, it wasn’t intentional.”
Look at the video, he was going to hit me with two knees. If the ref hadn’t stepped in I would’ve caught a second knee. So, man up, don’t be such a bitch.
If it was uncomfortable for the fans to see how everything played out and see how—even before the knee—Bisping was breaking rules without any type of warning, grabbing the cage so you wouldn’t sweep him off the top for example, there was something a bit more uncomfortable to watch.
Experiencing how Joe Rogan in his post fight interview didn’t even acknowledge the illegal knee and the reporters on the post-fight presser didn’t give it a lot of color either, made a lot of us think they were basically giving him a face wash and deviating attention from what we all know was an intentional illegal blow.
We all saw what happened and we all came to the same conclusion—of course it was intentional. How can they not come to the same conclusion?
Now that you have seen video, know what happened, and how it all played out, if you could go back in time, would you stand and keep fighting again or would you take the win by disqualification?
I would take the victory, I’d take the victory and keep moving forward. When you lose people forget, so, I would take the victory and to hell with Michael Bisping.
I honestly dare say that it was our Latin heritage, especially that Boricua blood that won’t let us back pedal at any moment, what made you get up and keep fighting although you were never the same after you got back up and more so, keep on fighting when you could’ve just stayed down and take a win by disqualification.
I would give anything if you could only see the reactions of the crowd watching that fight. We were at a very popular restaurant here in Puerto Rico watching that fight with Cain Velasquez and I would’ve loved for you to see how people reacted.
It was collective anger, everyone inside that room was furious, but that is water under the bridge and we move on.
Some people in the MMA media after that fight suggested that maybe the situation developed the way it did because of the videos you made hyping up the fight and insinuating you had disrespected the British people and others.
Then again, we see how Chael Sonnen, after very shady and embarrassing moment in his career, insults fighters and even a whole country like Brazil but these same people in the MMA media appear to be washing his face and laughing about his comments. What do you think about that?
To each his own man, I think that depends on how people look at you. He talks a lot of smack but appears not to be afraid of anyone and he backs it up when he fights.
I think that all depends on how people look at you and I think people like him.
Jorge I really appreciate you taking the time to do this. We will be following you very closely in the weeks leading up to your fight against Alessio Sakara. Anything else you want to say to all the fans in Puerto Rico and readers over at The MMA Truth?
First of all, thank you. I am Puerto Rican, was born Puerto Rican, and I will die a Puerto Rican. I am very proud of my Island and my People and I thank all of you and thank God.
I also want to thank my friends and sponsors from Ranger Up, I appreciate everything they do and their support.
Thanks Jorge and good luck!
Thank you and all the fans.
We at The MMA Truth would like to wish Jorge Rivera, his team, and all his family the best of the best.
Thanks for reading.
UPDATE: Alessio Sakara has yet again pulled out of a fight against Jorge Rivera due to injury. Filling in for Sakara is the Cypriot Constantinos Philippou.
Originally posted at The MMA Truth.