Michael Bisping has confirmed his retirement after a long career inside the Octagon. Undoubtedly, one of the best UFC fighters of all time with a record of 20 wins inside the Octagon, Bisping’s real life struggle is a ‘rags to riches’ story. From being The Ultimate Fighter 3 winner to becoming the oldest UFC Middleweight Champion, ‘The Count’ has done it all. Only few days back, Bisping lost his title to the returning Georges St Pierre after refusing to tap to the Canadian’s Rear Naked Choke. He wanted to bounce back from a losing streak, hence immediately signed up for a fight against Kelvin Gastelum at UFC’s first ever event at Mainland China in Shangai which is on November 25th. This fight against Gastelum is scheduled only three weeks after his super fight with GSP. Following his loss to St Pierre, Bisping announced that he would soon retire in March on UFC’s event in London in front of his hometown fans.
Here are the top fighters who would be the best option for Bisping’s retirement fight:
- Dan Henderson (Trilogy Fight) –
Hendo was the first one to knockout Bisping back in 2009. Bisping was knocked out cold by Henderson’s ‘Hedge Bomb’ which is a full forced swing over the head. This is regarded as the most devastating loss in the Englishman’s career which had been haunting him for a long time. Despite this heavy blow, Bisping moved on and struggled his way on finally being the champion. Bisping finally got his revenge as he successfully defended his championship against Henderson sending him into retirement without ever winning a UFC title. Hendo had stated that he would come out of retirement for a trilogy fight with Bisping. ‘The Count’s final chapter should include him locking horns with another legend of the sport and so a final showdown with former two- division Pride Champion would be a perfect send off for the two.
- Georges St Pierre (Super Fight Rematch) –
The Canadian super star made a return after a four year hiatus from the sport. GSP made his return at UFC 217 and choked out Michael Bisping to capture his first ever middleweight strap. In doing so he became the fourth person to win titles in two weight divisions. During the fight Bisping refused to tap out and chose to pass out instead. A rematch between the two would be a perfect send off for Bisping as it would give him an opportunity to become the champion once again and also a money fight which he deserves.
- Darren Till (All British Brawl Match) –
Till is an undefeated UFC fighter who fights in the welterweight division. He recently rose to popularity with an astonishing finish over fan favorite Donald Cerrone only last October. Till is also from England like Michael Bisping and moreover he has claimed that he is a ‘light-heavyweight’ who fights at 170 pounds. Before entering into the UFC the 24 year old English lad has fought at middleweight so it would be interesting to see if he could match his striking skills to that of ‘The Count’s in Bisping’s final fight. A win over Till in an ‘All British Brawl’ would be a sweet send off for the former middleweight champion.
- Anderson Silva (Super fight Rematch)-
Michael Bisping was the first to give the Brazilian legend a legit loss inside the Octagon (besides Chris Weidman’s two lucky finishes) and this must be itching ‘The Spider’ in the back as many thought he had won the fight. Silva recently hasn’t fought any top contenders lately. So now that Bisping has rose to a whole new level of stardom after becoming the champion and defending it in two super fights, Silva can make a lot of money by giving the Englishman the ‘Money fight’ he deserves. Moreover, it would be perfect opportunity for Silva to avenge his previous loss. By fighting one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time in his retirement fight, Bisping can leave the Octagon with pride.
- Tyron Woodley (A catch weight bout/ Welterweight title fight) –
Woodley is one of the scariest fighters to ever enter the Octagon. T-Wood and Bisping had once agreed to fight at a catch weight at 180 pounds. It is no big deal for Woodley to put on another 10 pounds as he had said in the past that ‘walks’ at ‘205’ pounds on a regular day. The UFC can honor Bisping by giving him an opportunity to become a two weight division champion by giving him a shot at the UFC Welterweight Championship.
- Luke Rockhold (A Heated Trilogy Fight) –
It is very evident that Bisping and Rockhold cannot stand each other. Rockhold was the first to submit Bisping back in 2014. But Bisping later got his revenge by knocking out the American at UFC 199 to capture his very fight UFC title. Even after the match the two had got into a heated verbal altercation during the post-fight press conference and therefore had to be separated by UFC officials.
- Chris Weidman –
Chris Weidman is a former middleweight champion who ended Anderson Silva’s reign of terror as the UFC Middleweight Champion. But ever since losing the title he has had only one win and is trying to get back on the winning track. Weidman has expressed his displeasure on Bisping’s opportunity at the title in the past but he had never got a chance to get his hands on the ‘The Count’. Bisping would have to train rigorously to bring his level of wrestling skills to match that of the ‘All American’s. A win for Bisping over another former American UFC champion would be a treat for the English fans.
- Robert Whittaker (Interim title fight) –
The two were meant to fight in a title unification bout. The match was almost booked until GSP showed up and spoiled the party for Whittaker. Now that GSP is the champion and it appears that it is unsure that he will ever defend his title, Whittaker who is the current Interim middleweight champion may as well be promoted as the undisputed champion if GSP vacates his title. However, it is a highly unusual theory which is doubtful. But fight between the Australian UFC Champion and English former UFC Champion for the Interim title would be a best retirement fight for Bisping who would have another shot at the gold.
- Jorge Masvidal (Its Personal!) –
During the fight week of UFC 217, both the fighters got into verbal confrontations. Masvidal seem to have a problem ever since Bisping tore a miniature Cuban flag at Yoel Romero who is Cuban. Masvidal is also of Cuban descent. Masvidal would have no problem to retire Bisping and humiliate him in front of his hometown fans.
- Conor McGregor– (Fantasy fight!) –
If anyone who deserves a money fight, it is Bisping. Bisping is the only one the UFC who can match his trash talking skills to that of ‘The Notorious’ one. The build up to the fight would be simply entertaining as both the fighters would do their best to get inside the other’s head.
But the only problem is the massive weight difference. Conor McGregor fights in the 155 pounds division and Bisping fights at 185 pounds. And there is absolutely no way we can expect McGregor to put on 30 pounds more and fight ‘The Count’ at 185 pounds. Though McGregor has fought at 170 pounds on two occasions he had to struggle to make it through the fight. Bisping on the other hand has never fought at 170 pounds. But never say never when it comes to ‘The Count’. After three recent super fights, the ultimate fantasy fight with Conor McGregor would be best way for Bisping to retire, not to mention the tons of money he would make.
- Nick Diaz (Dream Fight) –
There was talks of the two warriors fighting before but Diaz turned down the fight. It is surprising that the two have never fought each other. Diaz is one of the most controversial figures in the UFC. Stylistically it would be a good match to see Diaz’s boxing skills try and decipher Bisping’s striking style. The two have the best street style persona which would put up an epic battle for the entire world to remember for ages.