Michael Bisping walks back retirement talk ahead of UFC 217

Michael Bisping says he's no longer contemplating retirement

Michael Bisping isn’t going anywhere.

Over the past few months, the reigning UFC middleweight champion has hinted that his retirement from mixed martial arts could be looming at any time over his next couple of fights.

More recently, Bisping even stated that he may contemplate calling it a career after his upcoming fight against Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217 because if he’s victorious there may be no better way to retire than going out as champion after defeating one of the greatest fighters of all time.

Well it appears Bisping has opted against that decision just a few weeks away from his fight with St-Pierre in New York.

“A lot of people were asking me about that. But I love this too much and I love this whole process, getting ready for a training camp,” Bisping said at the UFC 217 press conference on Friday. “Eight weeks ago, I was out of shape. Now I feel like I’m champion of the world. I can beat anyone on this planet, especially this guy [Georges St-Pierre] and I love this whole process.

“So no, I won’t be retiring.”

Assuming Bisping wins on Nov. 4, that will probably sound like music to the ears of interim champion Robert Whittaker, who wasn’t able to unify the titles due to an injury that put him out of action until 2018.

A win from Bisping against St-Pierre and then retiring from the sport would have assuredly made Whittaker the undisputed champion, but it’s more likely the heavy-handed New Zealand native would like the chance to secure his place atop the division with a fight.

Either way, Bisping appears ready to fight St-Pierre in November and then carry on with his career as he looks to defend his middleweight title in 2017 and beyond.

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.