Michael Bisping. Photos © Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports, Mazdak Cavian/ MMAnytt

Michael Bisping nearly went blind after final UFC loss

"Every time I look to the left, I would get a flash of light..."

The fact that Michael Bisping has had eye injuries is nothing new – But him nearly going blind doing the UFC a favour is. 

Former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping is a fighter who went from antagonist to fan favourite over his career. While he did often play the heel leading up to fights, he did endear himself to fans in his quest to capture a UFC title. It’s also been well-documented that he has had issues with his eyes throughout his career.

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Recently he opened up about the full extent of his eye injuries – And they were nearly life-altering. It began after that he lost his middleweight title to Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217 in November 2017. The UFC then called him, asking for him to replace Anderson Silva who had dropped out of a bout with Kelvin Gastelum at UFC Shanghai. However the event in mainland China was less than a month after UFC 217. Bisping would go on to lose the bout against Gastelum via a vicious KO, and things only fot worse after that.

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“I fight Georges St-Pierre, I lose that fight, and he knew I was blind in one eye – he targeted it,” Michael Bisping said to Submission Radio. “Then, I fly to Shanghai, couple of weeks later I fight Kelvin Gastelum, I get cracked, I think I’ve had a good run and that was that.

“And then we go to an after-party afterward. I’m sitting there in this club, and every time I look this way, I get a flash of light. I was like, what was that? So I look again, another flash of light,” Bisping added. “And every time I look to the left, I would get a flash of light. I started panicking because I’m thinking, holy s*it, I don’t believe this, I’ve got a detached retina in my good eye. And I started getting emotional, in a night club. I’ve had a couple of drinks, but I’m like, f*ck, I’m thinking I’m gonna go blind.”

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Bisping then flew to Los Angeles, and experienced more difficulties with his vision on the long flight. Realising the seriousness of the situation, he called his doctor as soon as he arrived back in California, and booked an appointment.

“I went in and I see this doctor and I say, Listen, doc, I think I’ve got a detached retina in my good eye. And he said, alright, well, let’s take a look, I’m gonna put some drops in you’re not gonna be able to see for a while,” Michael Bisping concluded. “I make a joke, I say, oh well, I guess I better get used to this view, eh? He says, calm down, we’re not there just yet. I was like, we’re not fucking there just yet? Jesus Christ. I was freaking out. And anyway, turns out I had a vitreous detachment.”

Luckily, Bisping does have vision in his one eye now. Bisping didn’t have to accept the bout with Gastelum, but he stepped up, helping the UFC. He has gone on to say that he regrets taking the fight with Gastelum, however. In the end of the day, Bisping remains a fan favourite, and a true pioneer of European MMA.

Does Michael Bisping nearly going blind make you see his career differently?

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With roots in muay thai and as an avid combat sports fan, Sebastian Vendel-Martinez grew up while the MMA scene was blossoming in Sweden. He became part of the MMAnytt team in 2012 and has gone on to become one of the most prominent MMA reporters in Scandinavia. Currently he continues to work as a writer, reporter, video producer/editor and head editor for MMAnytt.com

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