Former UFC middleweight champion Michael ‘The Count’ Bisping has announced his official retirement from the sport of mixed martial arts.
Bisping, who leaves the UFC tied with Jim Miller for the most bouts in the history of the promotion at 29, revealed his decision on today’s episode of his Believe You Me podcast.
“Obviously, I’ve teased this for a long time now — I might fight again, I might not. Unfortunately, it’s not a fight I’m announcing, I am going to announce my official retirement from mixed martial arts.” – Michael Bisping
The future UFC Hall of Famer began his journey with the world’s top mixed martial arts promotion in 2006 when he entered the octagon to improved his record to 11-0 with a victory over Josh Haynes to become the Light Heavyweight Tournament victor for The Ultimate Fighter season 3.
Bisping would win his first four fights under the UFC banner, three of them via TKO, before dropping a split decision loss to Rashad Evans at UFC 78. After being handed the first loss of his career by Evans, he’d move down to middleweight where he’d put together another win streak before suffering the first KO victory of his career to Dan Henderson. While the moment will forever live as one of the most iconic knockouts in the history of the sport, Bisping would bounce back nicely by winning five out of his next six bouts.
With a 7-3 record over his next 10 contests after the Henderson KO, it should be noted that all three losses came against fighters with known PED issues during their respective careers. One of those losses would cause a serious injury to his right eye due to a lethal left kick KO from known TRT abuser Vitor Belfort. The kick caused Bisping’s retina to detach, an injury that would become a major hindrance for the rest of his fighting career.
Despite going through five surgeries — one would involve the removal his eyeball — Bisping would go on to win the UFC middleweight championship in June of 2016 by knocking out Luke Rockhold. The fight was considered one of the biggest upsets in the history of the sport with Bisping filling in on short notice to replace an injured Chris Weidman in the UFC 199 main event. After getting a bit of revenge in his first world title defense with a victory over Dan Henderson, Bisping would drop his title to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 217 in the headliner for the promotions second visit to Madison Square Garden.
Just 21 days after his loss to St. Pierre, Bisping made a dangerously quick turnaround to fill in for Anderson Silva at a UFC Fight Night event in Shanghai. The Brit would suffer a KO loss to Kelvin Gastelum in the main event of the evening in what would turn out to be the last fight of his professional mixed martial arts career.
Bisping has found success outside of the cage as a studio analyst for the UFC, an actor and a podcast host. He currently resides in California with his wife and three children.
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