Former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping will become the first inductee into UFC’s 2019 Hall of Fame class. The announcement was made earlier today (Sat., Mar. 16, 2019) during UFC on ESPN+ 5’s broadcast from inside O2 Arena in London, England.
In effort to pay tribute to “The Count,” UFC put together an amazing video tribute that played throughout O2 Arena. The promotion also posted the video to it’s Twitter account, which can be seen above.
Bisping, who was in attendance for the announcement and also to work the UFC London event, fought back tears after the video tribute.
"Those ***********ers..."— UFC (@ufc) March 16, 2019
Same ol' Michael @Bisping #UFCLondon pic.twitter.com/TKtsG35pC8
Bisping, 40, retired from MMA back in May of last year following a knockout loss to Kelvin Gastelum in 2017. The Ultimate Fighter 3 winner left behind a superb 20-9 UFC record which includes victories over notable fighters such as Anderson Silva, Dan Henderson, Brian Stann, Chris Leben, Matt Hamill, and Yoshihiro Akiyama.
Bisping, who fought in two middleweight title eliminators early into his UFC career, finally got his chance to fight for the middleweight championship back at UFC 199 in 2016 when an injury to Chris Weidman left then-champion Luke Rockhold without an opponent. Bisping stepped up on short notice and ended up knocking Rockhold out in the first round.
“It’s hard to have the level of talent needed to compete in UFC for any amount of time, but Michael Bisping was able to have an 11-year career where he became a world champion and won ‘The Ultimate Fighter.’ Not many people can say that,” UFC President Dana White said. “He also came back and coached ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ and is now one of the best analysts on our broadcast team. Michael has been a huge part of not only building our brand, but also the sport of mixed martial arts. He absolutely deserves to be in the UFC Hall of Fame.”
In addition to White, a plethora of UFC fighters reached out to pay their respects to “The Count.”
Congratulations on being inducted to the @ufc Hall Of Fame @bisping! A much deserved honor #Warrior— BJ Penn (@bjpenndotcom) March 16, 2019
Congrats @bisping on the @ufc Hall of Fame— Cub Swanson (@CubSwanson) March 16, 2019
1 of the best to ever step in the octagon. An honor to have shared the octagon.— #OnAmission4Gold (@KelvinGastelum) March 16, 2019
Congratulations Michael on a more than deserving induction.
Perseverance and determination = @bisping
Bisping will join Forrest Griffin, B.J. Penn, Urijah Faber, and Ronda Rousey as members of the UFC Hall of Fame’s “modern era” wing.