Michael Bisping Undecided on Fighting Again or Just Retiring from the Sport
Michael Bisping has a big decision to make.
According to the former UFC middleweight champion, there’s a fight offer on the table that would allow him to compete at the upcoming event in London this March but he’s also contemplating his own retirement now rather than sticking around for one more match.
Bisping had previously stated following his loss to Georges St-Pierre last November that he wanted to retire with a fight in London to say goodbye to his home country fans who supported him throughout his career. In recent weeks, Bisping has now been hinting at possibly retiring from fighting now rather than taking another fight no matter how enticing the offer was to go out with one more matchup in England.
“There’s a fight in the works for myself, and I’ve got until the end of the day to tell the UFC whether or not I’m taking it. There’s an offer that’s been made to me, and all fairness to the UFC, I’ve been kind of taking my time to give them an answer so I’ve got until the end of the day to give them an answer,” Bisping revealed on his “Believe You Me” podcast.
“I’m just debating whether or not I take the fight. For me, whether or not those people can see, I have a bad eye. I have a bad eye and my wife doesn’t want me to continue fighting, and my manager doesn’t want me to continue fighting. I see out of that eye but not as well as I used to, and I’m still a young man so it’s kind of the reason I may hang the gloves up. My wife and manager and friends and people close to me say, ‘Mike, what do you want to do that for? You’ve done it. You’ve had the belt.’ I’ve done it. I’ve done what I set out to achieve.”
Bisping reached the top of the sport back in 2016 when he accepted a short notice fight against Luke Rockhold that ended with a first round knockout as he became UFC middleweight champion.
Bisping then avenged arguably the toughest loss of his career when he earned a decision victory against Dan Henderson a few months later to defend the middleweight crown.
Add to that, Bisping has fought a legendary list of opponents with his UFC career starting out as a light heavyweight on “The Ultimate Fighter” before transitioning to middleweight and becoming champion.
All those accolades seem to be more than enough for Bisping’s family to believe he’s done more than enough to call it a career, but admittedly he’s still struggling with that decision because there are still several reasons he’d like to have one more fight.
“There’s the payday. I’ve got some lawsuit bulls–t that’s still going on. I don’t know if you’re aware of this but lawyers are very expensive. Also, one doesn’t want to go out on my last fight, that being the lasting impression on my MMA career. Also, I kind of feel that I owe it to the U.K. fans because they were so supportive throughout my career,” Bisping explained.
“I always envisioned in my mind having that retirement fight in London and there it is on a plate. I just need to take it but everyone around me is telling me not to.”
The lawsuit Bisping referenced is a legal battle where a judge in England recently ordered him to pay more than $400,000 to his former manager for money owed from past fights in the UFC.
There’s also the timing with the upcoming UFC card in London this March, which is the only current card the promotion has scheduled for the United Kingdom in 2018.
Still, Bisping says his decision hasn’t been made yet but time is ticking away until he has to give the UFC an answer on whether or not he intends to fight or call it a career.
“I like the fight. It’s not a case of the time or the opponent or anything like that. It’s either am I going to continue fighting or am I not?” Bisping stated. “I promised my wife a long time ago that I was done fighting, promised a ton of people, but I still seem to be slogging on and doing it.
“Maybe we’ll have an announcement tomorrow, maybe we won’t.”