That’s it for Michael Bisping.
The TUF winner, pioneer of British MMA, and former UFC champ has decided to call it quits and hang up the gloves.
We’ve known for a while that his career in the cage was in its end stages, with more than a few fighters jockeying for the opportunity to be a part of his retirement fight. But no fight ever materialized, and for mostly medical reasons, Bisping has decided that his time to ride off into the sunset has come.
In his most recent trips to the Octagon, the brash-talking Brit fell to Kelvin Gastelum and the legendary Georges St. Pierre. But let’s not forget his greatest moment of glory: he was a late-replacement and total underdog when he faced then-champ Luke Rockhold, and he knocked Rockhold out and snatched up that belt.
“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 said doctors diagnosed him with a vitreous detachment in his left eye, a condition that puts him at an increased risk for another detached retina. Regardless, Bisping said he still moved forward with negotiations for a farewell fight against Rashad Evans for May 17 at UFC London. The matchup never came together though, and Bisping said he ultimately came to his decision to hang up his gloves Sunday night after watching the film Journeyman on a plane — a film in which an aging prizefighter suffers severe mental and physical problems as a result of brain trauma sustained in a late-career fight.
“I was watching this movie last night and I just thought, it ain’t worth it,” Bisping said. “It ain’t worth it. I mean, what else am I going to do? I’ve won the belt, I’ve had tons of wins, I’ve done everything that I set out to achieve. What’s the point in flogging a dead horse? Not that I’m a dead horse, but what’s the point? I’ve done everything that I set out to achieve, and fortunately now I’ve used my platform to open other doors. You know, you’ve got to know when to walk away. I’m almost 40 years old, the time is now. So, I want to say, 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. And of course everyone in the U.K. and around the world that supported me.
“So, yeah, there you go. Great career. That’s that. Thank you everybody.”