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Michael Bisping has officially called it a career. He had been flirting with one more fight before hanging them up, but the 39-year-old Brit decided enough was enough. He had been having trouble with his good eye, as it turns out- enough to prevent that one last farewell fight. It’s a wise call from Bisping, who has had a long and storied career and still has an ongoing gig at the Fox Sports 1 commentary desk.
Michael Bisping the MMA fighter was many things. He was a brash trash talker, a UFC fixture, and, against all odds, the UFC middleweight champion- the first British UFC champion.
It used to be a running joke to hear people say they believed Bisping could be the champion given the right matchup. After all, he had come up short against in so many top matchups- the iconic UFC 100 loss to Dan Henderson being a particularly satisfying one for Bisping detractors. He had also lost to Vitor Belfort by head kick TKO, Tim Kennedy by suffocating ground and pound, Chael Sonnen via contentious split decision.
But then, somehow, he put together an improbable three-fight win streak, earning a split decision Thales Leites and somehow, in a fight that saw him just about knocked out at the end of a round, a decision against the fading middleweight GOAT, Anderson Silva. That put him in a late-notice replacement fight against Luke Rockhold. Rockhold had crushed him in their last bout, choking him out with one arm. The fight was not expected to be competitive. But Bisping turned into Left Hook Larry, knocking out Luke Rockhold in a single round. It was an astonishing moment that proved the MMA cliche true- anything can happen in the cage.
The amount of improbable events that had to go right for Bisping to end up as middleweight champion cannot be overstated. He survived a first round knockdown against CB Dolloway. His fight with Leites was one judges’ decision from going against him. That knee from Anderson Silva would have been a finish at any other second of the fight, and very well could have been called against him then. He only got the title shot against Rockhold because of an injury to Chris Weidman, and no one gave Bisping, who had never had one-punch KO power, much of a chance. You cannot call him anything but incredibly lucky. Even in his rematch with Dan Henderson, many had the fight scored against him, and Bisping had to survive more than one knockdown, always a razor’s edge of split second decisions between retaining consciousness or losing it.
I guess people forgot what they did to @danhendo over there. What did you expect. When nobody gets punished for blatantly breaking the rules it will happen again. Too easy.— Justin Gaethje (@Justin_Gaethje) May 27, 2018
Yet, it also cannot be overstated how hard Bisping worked, the amount of effort and determination he showed to put himself in those lucky positions. Never an incredible athlete, he was known to train himself to his limits and well past, resulting in the nonstop cardio that carried him to many of his wins. He was unbelievably tough; not gifted with the best chin, he survived far more than his share of flush punches and kicks and knees. His win over Anderson Silva was one of sheer grit- I’ll never forget him staggering all the way across the Octagon after ‘The Spider’ landed a front kick in the fifth round, but refusing to go down. The name of his podcast was an apt one- Believe You Me. Michael Bisping always believed in himself.
Breaking News! Michael Bisping has officially announced his retirement! Catch the count talking about hanging up the gloves in this clip. https://t.co/9wcbJEHAk6 or head to https://t.co/3zQRzcpafC and use promo code BYM for a free trial to watch the full episode in HD!!!— BelieveYouMePodcast (@BYMPod) May 28, 2018
Bisping, after yet another contentious decision against his old rival, Dan Henderson, in Henderson’s retirement fight, would then hold the belt hostage in a successful bid for a big-money fight, one he lost against George St. Pierre. If he had won that bout, we would have been forced to acknowledge that he had beaten both Anderson Silva and GSP, and somehow had a credible, unlikely case for Greatest of All Time status. As it is, he went down in the third round, and got a fat Pay-Per-View paycheck for his time as champion.
But how will we remember The Count? He was a polarizing figure, called out by seemingly anyone and everyone from three divisions. Every Bisping fight somehow managed to have bad blood associated with it. He could be genuinely nasty, spitting on foes after beating them earlier in his career. He is also a dedicated husband and proud father, and many who know him like him. He is one of middleweight’s most unique stories, the brash Brit who punched above his athletic ability and achieved what should have been impossible.
Will you miss Michael Bisping now that he is gone?
This poll is closed
Yes- he was a unique character in MMA
No- I’m glad he’s retired
Chuck Liddell is very confident he will beat Tito Ortiz a third time. I’m with Dana White for once- there was a reason Chuck retired.
Stephen Thompson vs. Darren Till may not have been the most action-packed fight but it did generate a lot of reactions. And GIFs.
Thompson admitted Till’s size was a factor in the controversial loss.
"He's a big boy"— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) May 27, 2018
Wonderboy keeps it real after his loss in Liverpool. pic.twitter.com/yYdGsdNQNR
I agree with Din Thomas here- there is no reason not to have open scoring; it would make the fights more exciting and less of a crapshoot.
The Wonderboy/Till fight is further evidence that scores should be posted after every round. Fighters deserve to know where they are in the fight.— Din Thomas (@DinThomas) May 27, 2018
Plenty of this happened in the main event.
“Try the towel trick, Darren”
@darrentill2 misses weight by 3.5 lbs. Thompson and his team are asking that Till forfeit 30-percent of his purse to Thompson for failing to make weight. In addition to that penalty, Till must weigh in again at 1 p.m. GMT on Sunday before heading to the arena and he cannot be heavier than 188 pounds. Edit collab: @shaahaab / @as_shopped_as_it_gets_
Big John McCarthy didn’t agree with the scores
Sorry but controlling the Octagon does not give you the round. @WonderboyMMA landed the cleaner harder shots in the first 3 rounds. Sad that people that are supposed to know about the sport are lacking greatly in their knowledge of what is scored in a round #AskBJM— Big John McCarthy (@JohnMcCarthyMMA) May 27, 2018
Neither does Wikipedia
Darren Till's Wikipedia page right now lolololol pic.twitter.com/E5EI380j64— Desmond Madden (@DesmondMadden) May 27, 2018
Turn out that knockdown in round 5 didn’t even matter.
Still a nice knockdown, though. Cross counter over the top of Thompson’s jab
What!? Darren Till captures a unanimous decision, igniting the Liverpool crowd though puzzling everyone else. No doubt, this fifth-round knockdown played a huge role in those scorecards. What happens now? #UFCLiverpool pic.twitter.com/BAO61XKpIn— Kyle Johnson (@Maldobabo) May 27, 2018
Some data on that unpopular decision in the Thompson-Till fight
The scorecards of the cage-side judges vs. the average scores on Verdict for Stephen Thompson vs. Darren Till.— Verdict (@VerdictMMA) May 28, 2018
Raw data: The average of all of the scores submitted on Verdict.#UFCLiverpool pic.twitter.com/XkYgjUIbwf
This is very true.
Agreed— KAMARU USMAN (@USMAN84kg) May 27, 2018
Rafael Dos Anjos was annoyed with how friendly Till and Thompson were being
— KAMARU USMAN (@USMAN84kg) May 27, 2018
500x1. Bar is 37 inches from the ground. Compete in the weight room just like you do on the mat. I think about the lift like I do a competitor in my weight class. I train for it. I attack it with everything I have. Thankful for “The Program”. pic.twitter.com/PFwN6NxdTy— Kyle Snyder (@Snyder_man45) May 28, 2018
Happy Memorial Day to the troops from MMA fighters everywhere
Even Soldier of God can die at the hands of the Reaper
Here it is, Whitaker vs Romero 2 for middleweight supremacy! comic book cover. Enjoy! - - - #ufc225 #whittakerromero2 #illustration #illustrator #artistsoninstagram #comicart #comicbookart #drawing #comicbookartist #mma #mmaart #soldierofgod #thereaper #inkofinstagram #comicbookcovers #dccomics #marvelcomics #ufcmiddleweightchampion
Lest we forget, Gegard Mousasi won another world title this weekend
Coordination drills by Lando Vannata
Sage Northcutt’s raft of shirtless photos posing with random objects captioned with declarative sentences is a kind of corny performance art.
About to play Fortnite after the UFC fights are over pic.twitter.com/Cw2ToAF2QK— Sage Northcutt (@sagenorthcutt) May 27, 2018
Dana White confirms there will be Fight Pass cards next year— Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful.com (@SeanRossSapp) May 27, 2018
Dana White revealed his hand in regard to Yair Rodriguez:
Dana White on Yair Rodriguez: "When I call you and offer you a fight, you should probably take it."— Chamatkar Sandhu (@SandhuMMA) May 27, 2018
If you have to take it, it’s not really an offer. Sounds like something bosses tell employees and not independent contractors. https://t.co/edpxsPdYMh— Daniel Downes (@dannyboydownes) May 27, 2018
When the stats are good
Podcasts and Video
Episode 4 of Andrew Richardson’s pro debut! Follow MMA Mania on Youtube
UFC Fight Night 130 post-fight show