Michael Bisping Announces His Retirement from Mixed Martial Arts
Michael Bisping is calling it a career.
The former UFC middleweight champion announced on Monday that he was officially retiring from the sport of mixed martial arts after debating for several months on whether or not he would fight again.
“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 on his “Believe You Me” podcast.
“It’s been a long journey. I started in 2003, I started training so 15 years as a professional fighter. 12 or 13 years in the UFC. You can’t do it forever.”
According to Bisping, his decision to retire actually stems from an eye injury that he first experienced after suffering a knockout loss to Kelvin Gastelum last November.
Bisping has a long history with eye problems including a detached retina that required surgery and kept him out of action for the better part of a year. He eventually returned to action but still experienced problems with his right eye throughout the remainder of his career.
Following the loss to Gastelum last year, Bisping says he started experiencing problems in his left eye when he began seeing flashes of light whenever he was in the dark.
“I realized there’s no flash going on, it’s just my eye, and every time I look left, it just flashes. And it still does it now when it’s dark. It’s light now so I can’t see it. So I started freaking out, thinking oh my God, I don’t believe this, I’ve got a detached retina in my good eye,” Bisping revealed. “I have problems with my bad eye, it doesn’t look good, so obviously I was kind of freaking out.”
Bisping was eventually diagnosed with vitreous detachment — a common condition in eyes that actually develops in older age but it’s typically not a serious threat to cause loss of vision or requires no surgery, although it could potentially end with another detached retina.
Still that was all Bisping needed to hear to know that it was time to hang up his gloves rather than risk another injury that could cause further harm.
Throughout his career, Bisping was already revered as one of the best fighters in the world with a UFC career that started when he won ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ season 3.
Bisping then went onto win his first three fights as a light heavyweight in the UFC before suffering a loss to former champion Rashad Evans that led to a drop down to 185 pounds.
From there, Bisping maintained a reputation for a willingness to take on any and all challengers as he constantly threatened to contend for the title but never quite made it. That was until 2016 when Bisping accepted a short notice fight against Luke Rockhold with the UFC middleweight title on the line.
Bisping shocked the world when he earned a first round knockout over Rockhold to become champion.
Bisping would go onto defend his belt while simultaneously avenging a prior loss to Dan Henderson before surrendering the title last November in a fight against Georges St-Pierre.
Since that time, Bisping has been contemplating retirement but now he’s finally come to the decision to hang up his gloves once and for all.
“You’ve got to know when to walk away,” Bisping said. “I’m almost 40 years old. The time is now.”