Just last week, former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight champion Michael Bisping announced his official retirement from mixed martial arts after 14 years in the hurt business.
After receiving plenty of support from fans, friends and rivals alike, “The Count” appeared on The MMA Hour to further explain why he felt now was the time to walk away from the fight game, revealing that issues with both of his eyes was a big reason for his decision.
“It’s been a hell of a ride, it’s been amazing, but I knew watching that movie, I’m like, yeah, this is it, this is the end,” Bisping said via MMA Fighting. “I can’t do this to my family anymore. I can’t do it to myself. Obviously my eye is in terrible shape, and my good eye, I’m having a couple of issues with that as well. Nobody wants to go blind, and a friend of mine as well said, ‘You know if you went blind, you would give any amount of money in the world and get your sight back,’ and of course you would, so it just isn’t worth it.”
Bisping suffered a detached retina in 2013, and also revealed he started having issues with his good eye following his knockout loss to Kelvin Gastelum last year. Plus, his knee is also giving the 40-year old problems.
Bisping went on to reveal that after watching “The Journeyman,” a film which shows an aging fighter suffer from mental and physical issues as a result of countless punishment which resulted in brain trauma, Michael knew it was time to go.
That said, saying goodbye wasn’t the easiest of things to do.
“Now, that doesn’t mean I’m not going to miss it terribly. I’m going to miss it every day. Every time I watch a fight, I’m going to wish I could do it. So, I will miss the sport terribly, I’ll still train, still keep in shape. I’ll probably still flirt with the idea of having a fight again, so that why I told the UFC to take me out of the USADA testing pool, so it’s not just as easy as saying I’ll fight next month. No, I’ve got to go through the testing pool again, so I’m officially retired on all fronts,” he added.
In parting, the former 185-pound champion -- who was the constant underdog and target of numerous call outs — has some words of wisdom for the up-and-coming prize fighters.
“Keep working toward it, and I think that’s what everyone needs to realize, any young fighters out there. Whatever it is in life that you’re trying to achieve, you’re going to get setbacks, you’re going to get knocked down, you’re going to get hurdled,” he said. “People tell you to go away, you’re not good enough, whatever. Keep working. Keep trying. You’ve got to be dedicated. You’ve got to have a plan. Regardless of how outlandish it sounds, if you put a plan in place to take those first steps, you’re one step closer to achieving your goals. Don’t take no for an answer. Jesus Christ, I’m living proof of that.”
Truer words were never spoken.