Reigning Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight king Michael Bisping has been all over the map regarding his potential retirement after his superfight with Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217 on Nov. 4 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from inside Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Bisping, 39, first opened the discussion about retiring after UFC 217 earlier this year, only to flip the script when saying he “loves this too much.” Now, with one week left until his showdown with GSP inside MSG, “The Count” is guaranteeing his fans one more Octagon appearance.
“I did say in the buildup that this could be my last fight,” Bisping said during UFC’s media call earlier this week. “My wife and some people close to me - you know I’ve done this forever. I’ve been a fighter ever since I was a kid, I’ve been involved with martial arts and professional combat sports my entire life and I’m almost 40 now. You can’t do it forever and I am the champ so I’ve accomplished what I want to accomplish.
“That said though, I’ve enjoyed this training camp. I’ve enjoyed the process. I’ve enjoyed being a little bit out of shape and now going to the peak of physical fitness. It’s a great process. It feels good knocking people out in sparring. I live for this sh*t. So yeah, there will definitely be at least one more fight and who knows? Maybe more after that. I don’t know though.”
If Bisping does in fact retire in the near future — meaning sometime in 2018 — he’ll leave behind an impeccable UFC legacy. But despite his current championship reign at 185 pounds and 20 career wins inside of the Octagon, the English striker doesn’t spend too much time thinking about his past feats.
“I don’t really try and think about those things too much, I don’t try and think about what I’ve accomplished and whatnot, but if I sit back and think about it, yeah, I’ve always been proud to represent England,” Bisping said. “Being the first world champion from Britain, that’s something I’m very proud of. The UK MMA scene is booming, we have tremendous fighting talent, and we have a solid presence now. On the more localized UFC shows, we see great talent on display all the time and it’s just going to get better and better.”
Needless to say, Bisping’s upcoming title defense opposite St-Pierre is one of the most important bouts of his career. It is an extremely high-profile main event bout headlining the biggest fight card of 2017 against one of the best mixed martial artists of all time.
“Georges should have stayed retired, he would have forever been a legend but he didn’t, he f*cked it up,” Bisping said. “He’s come out of retirement and he’s fallen into the trap that everyone falls into: He thinks he can beat me.”
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