Michael Bisping retired from mixed martial arts with a 30-9 professional record, and as a former UFC middleweight champion.
The first – and to date only – British champion in UFC history has battled some of the greatest fighters who have honored the sport, and has established himself as one of them along the way.
Bisping, who grew up in Clitheroe, was unbeaten on British soil throughout his MMA career, as his home win produced key moments in a career that culminated in The Count’s notable winning of the UFC middleweight title at the age of 37 with one working eye.
Not only has Bisping’s right eye not working since 2013, when he suffered a retinal detachment that led to six surgeries, but when Luke Rockold dislocated it in 2016, he was battling it out in just two weeks.
Before UFC London, independent Bisping featured photos of some of his most memorable fights in Britain. This is what he said:
UFC 70 (Manchester) – April 2007 – beat Elvis Sinocic by TKO in the second round
Bisping’s second fight in the UFC and the first in the UK under the promotion banner. At the Manchester Arena, the Briton stopped Sinocic in the second round with punches and a hammer on the Australian.
“The first thing that came to mind was when I walked out at the Manchester Arena, when I walked out of the locker room into the arena. The noise.
“It was the first time I realized that people in the UK cared about what I was doing. This was all before social media, so she didn’t know [how well known you were].
“I walked there and the plaza erupted. I’ll never forget it.”
UFC 75 (London) – Sep 2007 – beats Matt Hamill by split decision
Watch the trailer for “Bisping: The Michael Bisping Story”
First time he fought Bisping in London while on the UFC roster. At the O2 Arena, “The Count” defeats Hummel with a controversial three-round victory.
“That was one of the places I was very fortunate to decide on. It could have gone either way, but that wasn’t my position at the time. That was the younger Michael Bisping, it was a heated rivalry with Matt, it was just Competitive rivalry, that’s the only thing that grew out of it. We both fought we were better than the other. I acted sorry at the time, I did.
“At the Battle of Sinosic, the crowd went crazy when I came out, and I rushed into the octagon like a psychopath on all the adrenaline. I could have lost that night, and then I thought: ‘I must mentally be prepared for this, I must be prepared because it is possible that Happening again in London.
‘So, this time I went in the opposite direction to be really quiet. When I came out, it was like I was going for a Sunday walk; I was waving, and sending a kiss to my wife, ‘Hey, how are you Dana’ [White, UFC president]? ‘ Then, boom. fight. This guy beats me up, I was getting rid of crap out of me. Only in the second round was I like: ‘F***, I better get a ** in gear. “
UFC 89 (Birmingham) – October 2008 – beats Chris Leben by unanimous decision
For the first time, Bisping major events UFC tag in the UK. He came out victorious on points at the Birmingham Arena, extending his winning streak to three points to come closer to a shot on the middleweight belt.
“Chris Lieben is a cruel man. He was a heavy, violent man and could be punished a lot. And he received a lot of punishment that night.
“He really collapsed behind the scenes and had to be taken to the hospital, God bless him. A UFC employee mentioned that to me.
“That fight was kind of pivotal, because I was heading into a fight for the middleweight title, and I was told that if I win that fight, I’ll be a coach next season of The ultimate fighter. Obviously, I wanted to do that because I was on the show as a fighter.
“After the fight, one of the UFC executives apologized, like: ‘We shouldn’t have told you that, that’s too much pressure.'”
Fight Night (London) – February 2016 – defeats Anderson Silva by unanimous decision
The main event in London once again, Bisping takes on the best consensus middleweight in MMA history. Bisping seemed to be ahead of the cards by three rounds, but the mouthguard fell off at the end of the third round – and while referee Herb Dean claimed it for him – the Briton hit a huge knee from Silva.
He lands when the bell sounds, Bisping collapses onto the carpet, and Silva – thinking he’s won via KO – climbs over the cage to celebrate. His celebrations were cut short, the fight resumed, and Bisping remarkably continued to win the match on points.
“As we now know, this [right] The eye does not work. So, when I turned to Herb, I couldn’t see Anderson. When I looked back, Anderson was mid-air. God save him, I took my eyes off the ball – pardon the pun.
“A little bit of confusion, Anderson is over the cage. I looked at Herb and said, ‘I’m not out.'” He says, “I know, the fight is still going on.”
A lot of people are like: ‘Bisping came out, how did he win?’ I didn’t remember! But my face was open, I got cuts all over, blood is everywhere. To be honest, I have no recollection of the fourth round at all. I was just fighting with a pure heart at that point. I had a good round, collected Some great combinations.
“It’s not really: It was a really bad knee, I don’t remember the fourth round.” Often times, I don’t remember my fights until I follow them again, just because it’s an action-packed situation.”
UFC 204 (Manchester) – Oct 2016 – beats Dan Henderson by unanimous decision
Bisping avenges the most painful defeat of his career – the brutal Henderson knockout from 2009 – by featuring the American in the main event war. The fight is Bisping’s first – and only successful – middleweight title defense.
“UFC, every time I got into a really big fight, I insisted on going to the hospital. I would always refuse and say, ‘I want to go to the party, see my family, and not sit in a cold, lonely hospital at 1 am.’ After I fought Henderson in Manchester, It looked like I had been in a car accident.
“I remember it was six in the morning, I was standing in my panties – my face was completely shattered, my orbital bone was broken, they wanted to put a metal plate in it. Dana insisted I go to the hospital. He wouldn’t let me off the hook, I said, ‘I’m fine.'” He said. : “Yes? Well, you’re not looking at him.”
“Shrek comes to mind, but it’s cool, it’s beautiful. That’s me giving my heart to everyone and thanking them for supporting that idiot from Clitheroe, for I wouldn’t have had the career I have had it not been for the British public behind me I took them on a good ride – some ups and downs, I acted Unfortunately sometimes and for those I apologize, but I was growing up on the air, if you will.
“I’ve never been the smartest man in the world; I’m far from stupid, but I’ve made a lot of mistakes over the course of my career. But the British have always stayed with me. I had losses, and they were still in my corner – and that’s partly why I came out defeated in the Kingdom.” United. It amazed me.”
BISPING: THE MICHAEL BISPING STORY AVAILABLE TO OWN OR RENT ON DIGITAL FROM March 21st