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Michael Bisping details ‘nightmare’ rib injury suffered before Georges St-Pierre fight

MMA: UFC 217-Bisping vs St-Pierre Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Bisping is as tough as they come. There’s no denying that.

So when the former UFC middleweight champion says he nearly had to pull out of his fight against Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217 due to injury, you know it had to be serious.

According to “The Count,” he suffered a nasty injury to his rib just one week prior to his eventual loss to GSP in New York City this past November. Now while Bisping has certainly fought hurt before, this particular injury nearly shut him down.

“I actually tore the cartilage in my ribs the week before the fight,” said Bisping during a recent appearance on the True Geordie podcast. “It was the final training session, we shouldn’t have done this sparring session, this sounds like an excuse. I didn’t talk about it at the time because it sounds like you’re making excuses but the reality was on the Friday before we flew to New York, Dean [Ammasinger] was out there, he was helping me a little bit and he shot in for a double leg takedown like his life depended on it. Ran me across the Octagon, I went down and he landed on top of my ribs.

“Generally that would be fine, but as soon as I went down, I felt something rip so I couldn’t move, I couldn’t rotate, I couldn’t do anything.”

Injured or not, Bisping was going to take part at UFC 217 and cash in on the biggest fight of his entire career. The return of St-Pierre was a highly-anticipated event, which is why Bisping had to push through the pain and deliver in a big spot.

“I got to New York and I was having treatment on it everyday, it was an absolute nightmare,” Bisping said. “So people said to me ‘you looked a little stiff in there, Michael’. Yeah, I was stiff for a very good reason. I tore the cartilage in my ribs but it was a big fight, a lot of money on the line, and as a fighter you still think you can do it.

“It wasn’t my best performance, it didn’t go my way, but not taking anything away from Georges. God bless him, good for him, he got the job done.”

Bisping, who lost to St-Pierre via third-round submission, managed a quick turnaround after UFC 217 and fought Kelvin Gastelum in China just three weeks later. Gastelum ended up knocking out “The Count” in under three minutes and Bisping has yet to return to the cage.

A rib injury is no joke (just ask this guy), so it’s understandable if Bisping felt off against St-Pierre. It’s not a stretch to say GSP is the more well-rounded fighter between the two, which is exactly why Bisping needed to be as healthy as possible to pull off the upset.

Hopefully the 39-year-old veteran doesn’t carry any lasting symptoms from the injured rib as he gears up for one final walk to the Octagon.