Over the last few months, former UFC middleweight champ Michael Bisping has been searching for a suitable opponent for the final fight of his illustrious career. During that time, the British legend has been linked to fights with Rashad Evans, Lyoto Machida, and Luke Rockhold, and called out by everyone from Brad Tavares to Gokhan Saki.
From the sounds of it, however, Bisping might not return to the cage at all, and opt instead to ease into his well-deserved retirement.
“[Luke Rockhold] is a fight that does make sense, but I’m retired,” Bisping said on his Believe You Me podcast (transcribed by Jim Edwards for MMNytt). “Everyone is calling me out, but I have no intention of fighting, let’s be honest. I’m retired. I haven’t made it official yet but I’m probably retired. Of course, when I say probably, that still gives me a window to come back but I’m probably retired.”
Bisping then explained why he’s holding off on making his retirement official.
“If I say I’m retired to the UFC, I come out of the USADA testing pool and then if I want to fight again, I have to go six months of testing I believe,” he said. “So if I retire and un-retire, I’ve got to do six months of testing prior to being able to fight again. So obviously there’s that. There’s that little hurdle there. I guess in the mean time all I’m doing is wasting USADA’s money because they’re showing up trying to test me when I’ve got no intention of fighting.”
“Another thing, if I’m going to retire, I want to try to make a bit of a bang about it,” Bisping continued. “I’ve just signed the deal to do a documentary with a Canadian production company called the Imagination Park and if I’m going to retire, I’ll go be a guest fighter or something like that and do it with a bang. Do it like that as opposed to just tweeting to Luke Rockhold at 4 in the morning, pissed out of me head.”
Michael Bisping is currently on a two-fight losing streak. The most recent of these losses came in a ballsy, short-notice contest with Kelvin Gastelum. The next most recent came courtesy of Georges St-Pierre in a fight that marked the end of Bisping’s reign as UFC middleweight king. Bisping defended the middleweight title once, defeating his rival Dan Henderson by decision. He won the title with an incredible, first-round drubbing of Luke Rockhold.
Over the course of his Hall of Fame worthy career, Michael Bisping has picked up wins over names like Rockhold, Henderson, Anderson Silva, Thales Leites, CB Dollaway, Cung Le, Alan Belcher, Brian Stann, Jorge Rivera, Yoshihiro Akiyama, Chris Leben, Matt Hamill, and many others.
If this is indeed the end of the road for the former champ, we’d like to congratulate him on an incredible career!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/10/2018.