It isn’t easy being a fighter. And you don’t need to be told that. But sometimes things can go a little bit rougher and more unexpectedly than one would like. Thus was the case for former middleweight champion, Michael Bisping as he headed into his final attempted title defense at UFC 217 this past November.
Bisping, never one to back down from a challenge, had finally earned a monster fight in the biggest position of his career, the main event in Madison Square Garden. His dance partner for the evening? None other than the legendary, one and only Georges St-Pierre.
Everything was good to go for ‘The Count’ heading into this massive showdown…that was until the very last day of training. Bisping shared the story of what went down when appearing on The True Geordie Podcast.
“I actually tore the cartilage in my ribs the week before the fight. 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.
I got to New York and I was having treatment on it everyday, it was an absolute nightmare. 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.”
Despite this injury, Bisping would continue to show how gritty of a veteran he truly is when just less than a month after his title loss he filled in to replace Anderson Silva in Shanghai to take on the young rising contender, Kelvin Gastelum. This didn’t result well either for Bisping as he suffered a first-round knockout loss.
Now at age thirty-nine and with nothing left to prove, Bisping is expected to have one more fight then ride off into the sunset. Although, he has said he might not even make it to the fighting part.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/23/2018.