Former UFC middleweight champion and ‘the Ultimate Fighter’ season 3 winner Michael ‘the Count’ Bisping has finally decided to hang the gloves and call it a day on his successful career.
On his ‘Believe You Me’ podcast, Bisping mentioned vision problems which he suffered since retinal detachment of his right eye back in 2013 were the main reason behind his decision. Bisping also added that he has achieved everything a fighter can and has nothing to prove. (via YouTube):
Bisping’s parting words were,”First of all thank you to my wife. Without her, it wouldn’t have happened. That’s a fact! She was incredible every single step of the way. My children, my dad. My dad was amazing & of course everyone in the UK & around the world that supported me”. (via Twitter):
Bisping's parting words.
"First of all thank you to my wife. Without her, it wouldn't have happened. That's a fact! She was incredible every single step of the way. My children, my dad. My dad was amazing & of course everyone in the UK & around the world that supported me"#UFC pic.twitter.com/ucj8lQfdlp
— The People's MMA 🦈 (@ThePeoplesMMA) May 29, 2018
“It ain’t worth it,” Bisping said. “What else am I going to do? I won the belt, I’ve had tons of wins. I’ve done everything I set out to achieve.
“What’s the point of flogging a dead horse? Not that I’m a dead horse, but what’s the point? … I’ve used my platform to open other doors. You’ve got to know when to walk away. I’m almost 40 years old – the time is now.”
Rumours of Bisping fighting for one last time has always been around since his last fight against surging Kelvin Gastelum back in November 2017 in Shanghai. He stepped in on short notice replacing the suspended Anderson Silva just a week after losing his title to former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre. He lost the fight via knockout in the first round. Bisping reportedly wanted to fight but his family wanted him to retire due to the damage he sustained in the Gastelum and GSP fight.
Bisping expressed his desire to fight for the one last time as Fight Night 127 in London back in March 2017. Obviously that did not happen. Other reports like Bisping facing former foe Victor Belfort were discussed. The front runner to face Bisping was another former foe former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold who considered a move to light heavyweight after his crushing loss against Yoel Romero at UFC 221. Former champion and surging contender in Lyoto Machida and Brad Tavares respectively also tried their shot against Bisping. Bisping also welcomed a bout against fan favourite Nick Diaz. However nothing came even close to being materialized.
“It’s been a long journey – in 2003, I started training,” he said. “So 15 years as a professional fighter, 12 or 13 years in the UFC. You can’t do it forever. I’ve done it for a long time, and of course I’ve got issues with my eye. After the (Kelvin) Gastelum fight, I started having issues with my good eye, which I’ve never spoken about before.”
Bisping is truly a pioneer of MMA in England which paved the way for other British fighters. He won TUF season 3 and won the UFC middleweight championship by knocking out heavy favourite Luke Rockhold in the first round. He became the first British UFC champion in history. His 20 victories in UFC competition are tied with St-Pierre and Donald Cerrone for most in company history, 16 victories in UFC middleweight competition are most in divisional history and seven knockout victories in UFC middleweight competition are tied for second most in history. He has a victory over arguably one of the ‘Greatest of all time’ in Anderson Silva.