Bisping Denies Spitting on Cornerman, Rivera’s Team Wants Suspension

By Mike Chiappetta

In the immediate seconds following the conclusion of an emotionally charged fight between Michael Bisping and Jorge Rivera, Bisping walked to the octagon corner nearest to Rivera’s team and spit. That much is clear. But the two sides disagree on what exactly he was aiming at, and whether he hit it.

Rivera’s team says that the spit was directed — and hit — boxing coach Matt Phinney. Bisping denies it.

“No, not at all. I was spitting on the floor to let him know what I thought of him,” Bisping told MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani in a UFC 127 post-fight interview. “I apologized for that, and I never want to act like that.”

The bad blood between the two stemmed from a series of videos Rivera did leading up to the fight which mocked Bisping. In the videos, Phinney portrayed Bisping.

During a break in the fight following a Bisping intentional foul, Bisping also directed a middle finger towards Phinney.

According to Rivera’s management team, that wasn’t the worst of it. After completing his second-round TKO win, Bisping walked towards Rivera’s corner and spat at them. But while Bisping denies directing it at anyone, Rivera’s team says he did indeed hit a cornerman.

“Bisping’s conduct after he was awarded the TKO is not acceptable,” Rivera’s manager Lex McMahon told MMA Fighting in an email. “Taunting and spitting at and on Jorge’s coach Matt Phinney is the deplorable conduct of a school yard bully. And like all bullies, Mr. Bisping needs to be punished. In this instance, it would be appropriate if Bisping is fined and suspended by the commission and/or the UFC.”


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