The news broke in the early hours of Tuesday morning that Michael “The Count” Bisping has retired from mixed martial arts.
After 39 fights spanning over 14 years, the former UFC middleweight champion has decided to call it quits with a record of 30-9
Speaking on his podcast, Believe Me, You Bisping cited eye issues as a major part of why he is hanging up his gloves. Bisping has had an ongoing eye issue after he detached his retina in 2003. It’s an issue that has dogged Bisping in his recent past but the Manchester born native never let it get in his way and was a UFC stalwart for 12 years.
The Ultimate Fighter
Bisping stepped into the TUF house riding a 10 fight win streak. A streak that would continue throughout the tournament. Making quick work of fellow Brit Ross Pearson, “The Count” would come up against Josh Haynes in the TUF Finale.
After two rounds, Bisping found the killer blow and won the fight via TKO and was crowned TUF champion and the rest as they say is history.
We all know about Dana White’s overblown speeches throughout The Ultimate Fighter but Bisping embodied everything that was pure about fighting. A gritty style, a mouth that was as devastating as his punches and a future champion in the making.
Bisping would go onto fight into the UFC twenty eight times with a record of (19-9) which, is no bad feat considering some of the fighters he found himself up against.
Bisping’s first loss in the UFC and indeed his career was delivered to him by Rashad Evans in a very closely contested split decision victory back at UFC 78.
Bisping followed up that loss with a three fight win streak only to suffer one of the most brutal KO’s in MMA history against the veteran Dan Henderson at UFC 100.
Many fans were starting to doubt if Bisping had it in him to become a world champion and questioned his ability when coming up against top ranked opponents. For many years, Bisping was regarded as “the gatekeeper of the division” and seen as a solid test for other fighters on their way to title contention.
Bisping was content to rub people up the wrong way and was engaged in a war of words against Luke Rockhold and Tim Kennedy but was on the receiving end of a loss from either fighter.
After his submission loss to Rockhold, it’s far to say that Bisping had a second coming and put together a winning streak beating the likes of CB Dolloway and Anderson Silva.
Due to an injury to would be contender Chris Weidman, Michael Bisping was jettisoned in to take on Luke Rockhold for their second meeting on very short notice. It would be the second time the two squared off and the dislike between the two boiled over in the various media interviews throughout the course of fight week.
The fight itself would be the culmination of all of Bisping’s hard work and dedication to the sport of MMA and in the very first round, Bisping landed cl
ean on Rockhold and stripped him off his title with a vicious KO victory.
The doubters had been silenced and the UK had its first UFC champion having seen so many prospects come close and fail.
Bisping would go on to avenge another loss in the form of Dan Henderson as Bisping defended his belt in Manchester in a nailbiting back and forth contest with the champion earning a decision victory to retain the belt in front of his home crowd.
Bisping’s title reign came to an end however when he faced the returning Georges St. Pierre and lost via submission.
“The Count’s” final fight ended up in a KO loss to Kelvin Gastelum and after many rumours of a final fight on English soil, Bisping had decided to call it quits.
It would be hard to dispute a place in the Hall of Fame for Michael Bisping. His impact on the UK MMA scene can not be understated. He paved the way for many of the up and coming fighters currently fighting their way through the UFC at the moment.
In a sport that has had its fair share of PED’s, it’s a testament as to how far Bisping has come in the sport and has spoken out against athletes taking performance enhancing drugs.
A fighter filled with raw power, heart and emotion is a potent mix and it may be a while before we see someone like Michael Bisping again.
You can count on that.