In the lead up to UFC 127 Jorge Rivera has become MMA’s first song and dance man. In the last few weeks, Jorge and RangerUp has conjured one of the most creative smack talk blitz’s ever assembled on a non-linear editing program, and it’s all thanks to Michael Bisping. Somehow BJ Penn and Jon Fitch are headlining UFC 127 card, but I think we can all agree that the Rivera/Bisping fight is the most important fight of the night, Michael Bisping is after all, defending the entire race of Great Britain and Jorge Rivera has committed racist acts by parodying Monty Python, a British comedy series. Like they say in Donkey Kong: “it’s on”. So what is really going on with this whole Jorge Rivera/Michael Bisping feud? When you think about it, Bisping didn’t really get upset at the RangerUp videos until they parodied Python, is that like the British version of a white dude dropping an N bomb? I wish we could have asked Jorge about all of this but we interviewed him a few weeks ago I wrote this intro and published the interview. Damn waiting for the fight weekend to publish an interview. Never the less, read this entertaining Jorge Rivera interview conducted by Elena only at MiddleEasy.com
Are you as good of a cook as Tim Kennedy? I’m not much of a cook, so I’ll have to say no, but I can burn food for you if you like it like that then no problem.
Everyone loves your videos and we were just wondering if that’s a live piano player behind you in Ranger Up “Jorge On” videos? No, no it’s not a live piano player.
What is with your beef with the oboe ? That was just a skit, I don’t even know what the oboe is, we just thought it was funny.
Can you tell us about Ranger Up? Ranger up is a company made up of all soldiers from all different agencies and I whole-heartedly support them, I just love those guys. They help support MMA fighters that are currently serving or have served in the past. They also set up programs for soldiers serving or that have served and also provide help to their families.
A lot of people would argue that your fight against Nate Quarry was your best performance to date. You landed 75% of your strikes to win by TKO. Would you agree? Honestly, I think that any fight you win by knock out, especially the last fight, I put on a good exciting fight so if that’s the one the fans liked then I’m glad. I went out there and I did my job and I just enjoy doing what I do.
What does it feel like to potentially have ended Nate Quarry’s career? I wouldn’t say that I ended his career, I’d like to think that it was an accumulation of fights that have over time added up and I just happen to be the last guy that he fought and if it wouldn’t have been me, it would have been somebody else. Am I sad to see him go out like that, yeah and I would have liked to see him go out on a better note, but I don’t control other peoples fate or their destiny, I just go out there and try to do my job.
Almost all of your wins are by TKO/KO and almost half of your losses are by submission. How would you personally rate your ground game? I think my ground game is getting better and better everyday. I train with some great coaches (says name of coaches and gym, but I can’t understand it). Take me down to the ground and I’ll display it and see what happens.
Have you ever been to Australia before? No, I haven’t.
Would you stand up with a kangaroo or would you take it to the ground? I don’t want anything to do with a kangaroo or a koala.
What are your thoughts on Hershel Walker? I don’t fault anyone who pursues what they want to do in their life, and is passionate about whatever they want to do. Hershel is a great athlete, he competed in the Olympics and if he’s strong enough to compete with guys who are 20-25 years old who am I to say that he shouldn’t be doing that? I take my hat off to him, what he’s doing is incredible and I admire him for that.
Will you be fighting when you’re 48? No, I won’t.
You fought Anderson Silva in Cage Rage back in 2005. How much do you think Anderson has evolved since then? I just think he’s the best. It’s not just his fighting style, he’s completely well rounded, he’s extremely good at standing up, on the ground or in the clinch. He truly is the champ.
Who is your favorite fighter in MMA? Me! It’s always me.
Good Answer. But I don’t really have a favorite fighter, I just enjoy watching anybody who brings excitement.
You first win in the UFC was in 2003 against David Loiseau. How much do you think the UFC and the caliber of fighters it has now has changed since then? It’s dramatic, it’s huge. Then the fighters weren’t as well rounded, they were either a striker or a grappler and you would see matches that would be basically striker vs grappler to see who wins. It has evolved so much. Now the guys are good at everything, cardio and every aspect of the game now.
What is the number one thing that has to change in MMA? The payday. I don’t want to say too much and piss anybody off, but the fighters need to get paid more. There are only a few fighters who get paid what they should get paid and the rest don’t. Look at these boxers, they get paid millions of dollars to fight and then you have these guys in MMA who only get paid a couple thousand dollars each fight. I just think they need to get paid better. I also think they need health insurance. These things seem small, but they’re huge. When they get hurt during the fight and they’re not making a lot of money, who’s going to take care of them? Who’s going to take care of their families? These are things that are not being addressed, but they’re huge.
What did it feel like to constantly have your recent fight delayed? It was weird. It was weird to go there and go through all the preparation and make the weight, the weight cutting, go in the back room and get your hands wrapped, do all the shadow boxing and then having someone come and tell you that you’re no longer going to fight tonight. It was weird, that’s the only way I can put it to you. After I was told that I wouldn’t be fighting that night all I wanted to do was sleep. I just wanted to find a corner and go to sleep.
Your next opponent is Michael Bisping and as you so eloquently put it, you said you wanted to “[expletive] him up”. Is that still your game plan? You know what, when I said that, I had that adrenaline going, but every single time someone goes into the cage to fight, it is your job to [expletive] up your opponent. That’s what I do, I go in there and I smash people, so for him to be surprised, it’s just, whatever. The only reason I even said that publicly is because I wanted him to take the fight. They told me that his camp and him might not be willing to take it, so I asked myself, what do I have to do to make sure that he takes this fight? Talk some smack and sure enough he would take this fight. So, that’s what we did to get the fight that we wanted.
So, talking smack to the king of smack talkers was your strategy? Haha, I don’t care. It’s funny, because when you do it to him, he doesn’t seem to take it as well and I just find that funny.
Penn vs Fitch? I can’t call it, but if I had to choose, I would say BJ Penn by submission. Only because Fitch is going to jump in there and try to put BJ on his back and BJ is comfortable on his back. I think Fitch will go at BJ in a pretty relentless pace and try to gas BJ out. But BJ, he is who he is and he’s phenomenal and I just seeing him possibly reversing and getting the choke or maybe a triangle. BJ can pull off anything, so if I had to pick, if my life was on the line, I would say BJ. But, if Fitch were to win that fight I would not be shocked at all.
Sotiropoulos vs Siver? I think Sotiropoulos is just a phenomenal fighter and I have a lot of respect for him. I think he is very, very well rounded, he’s a complete fighter, his jiu-jitsu is phenomenal. I have a lot of respect for him, he’s a good fighter.
Who do you think is the best dressed fighter in MMA? I would say GSP. He shows up in those three-piece suits looking all sharp. GSP and Rashad, Rashad is always looking sharp too.
How many silk robes do you own? How many silk robes do I own? Haha, I don’t own anything silk.
If you could hop in a time machine, what do you tell 2001 Jorge Rivera? And after you’re done helping yourself, what do you do in 2001 or do you just come back to 2011? If I saw myself in 2001 what would I say to myself? I would say to get rid of the wife that you’re with right now, because it’s going to end soon and then I would tell myself to go train at a certain place and set myself up to have a more successful career.
Do you believe that time travel is even possible? Yes, I believe that time travel is possible. I believe that mathematics can give you the answers to everything.
Your manager said that he has a list of clients as long and illustrious as his Johnson. How do you feel about that? Well, jeez, I hope his Johnson is huge! I haven’t heard that quote yet, that’s funny. I love Lex, Lex has been very good to me, I met him over a year ago and since then we’ve built a good relationship and I know he has my best interest. Whatever he sets up or lines up, I’m more then happy to go through with it.
When was the last time you were in Puerto Rico? I was in Puerto Rico in — 2010? It was last year, yeah, 2010 I was there.
What is the MMA scene like in Puerto Rico? Actually it was 2009. Well, it’s blowing up over there and I would say in the next two or three years you should have a couple good fighters coming out of there.
Anybody in particular you would like to mention? You know, to be honest with you, I’m not to involved with the scene over there where I would be able to give an honest opinion on that, but I know there are a few fighters coming up, you just got to give it a little while. Maybe in the future I’ll go down there and do something down there and help the kids out a little. There’s a lot of talent, there’s just a lot that needs to be done before it gets there.
If it was the year 1125 AD and you were a warrior, what would you carry into battle? A battle axe or a bow and arrow and why? If I were a warrior, I would want the bow and arrow and you know why, because the battle axe is up close and personal and the bow and arrow you could pick people off from like 50 yards. I’ll take the distance and space and be a sniper.
So, I’m assuming you’re skilled at shooting a bow and arrow? No, I couldn’t shoot a bow and arrow to save my life, but if my life were on the line, I promise you this, I’ll learn real quick.