Michael Bisping announces his retirement from the UFC

Former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping officially announced his retirement on his podcast, Believe You Me.

Bisping, 39, has been openly pondering retirement recently as he spoke about competing one more time in a "retirement" fight and was aiming to have that fight held in his country, England, but no fight was able to be consummated before "The Count" made his decision to end his fighting career.

"So obviously I've teased this for a long time now, I might fight again, I might not. And unfortunately, it's not a fight that I'm announcing. I am going to announce my official retirement from mixed martial arts," Bisping said.

Bisping (30-9) has long been hailed as a pioneer for mixed martial arts in the U.K.  He won the Ultimate Fighter Season 3 competition and is one of the most recognizable fighters in the UFC.

He finishes tied for the most wins in UFC history and the most fights in UFC history among other records. 

A place in the UFC's Hall of Fame is all but assured.

Bisping completes his professional fighting career on a two-fight losing skid after losing his last two fights within 22 days, first being submitted by Georges St. Pierre at UFC 217 to lose the middleweight title, then accepting a quick turnaround and being knocked out in the first round by Kelvin Gastelum in Shanghai, China.

Bisping has dealt with numerous health issues related to his right eye and spoke about recent health concerns with his other eye, which made his decision to call it a career a smart one.

Before that loss to St. Pierre, Bisping reeled off a stunning five-fight winning streak that included a close victory over Anderson Silva, and of course, the shocking upset of Luke Rockhold to claim the middleweight championship at UFC 199 in Los Angeles.

Bisping maintained a solid position in the middleweight rankings throughout his tenure in the UFC, but a title shot had always seemed to elude him.

He wasn't given much of a chance against Rockhold at UFC 199, notably because he was previously outclassed by Rockhold in 2014 and had accepted the fight on short notice.

Bisping was a fighter that wasn't known for his knock-out power, agility, or supreme athleticism, but his self-confidence was what might have made Bisping so popular amongst fans. His grandiose claims during his media appearances became the stuff of legend.

His over the top trash-talking may have rubbed some the wrong way, but because he might have lacked those physical attributes that other fighters possessed, fans seemed to connect with his blue-collar work ethic, toughness, and his self-belief.

Bisping will not disappear from the public's eye.  He has become a mainstay on UFC broadcasts and has dabbled in acting as well.  The Englishman now calls Southern California his home and is part owner of a UFC gym in Orange County.

Bisping has left an undeniable stamp on MMA and the UFC and if there is one thing he always did was make you want to watch him fight. 

You could always count on "The Count" to leave it all in the cage.


Alex Solano