“You know, you can’t do it forever. Done it for a long time. Of course I’ve got issues with my eye. After the [Kelvin] Gastelum fight then I started having issues with my good eye, which I’ve never spoken about before… After the Gastelum fight, I went to a party with all my team, my friends that had flown in to watch. We went to a club, and because it’s dark I just kept seeing this flash out the corner of my good eye. I’m like, ‘what the hell?’ I kept looking. I kept seeing a flash so I kept looking, and doing that constantly.
So I started freaking out, going I don’t believe this, I’ve got a detached retina in my good eye. I’ve got problems with my bad eye, it doesn’t look good. So obviously I was kind of freaking out. First thing I did when I got home is I went to a doctor and they checked it out — they say it probably is a detached retina, they looked at it, they say no, it’s not a detached retina it’s a vitreous detachment.
So anyway [after that] I said I was going to be done fighting then. But then I did contemplate another fight, I was going to fight in London. And that never happened, probably a good thing… And I was actually negotiating with the UFC to fight Rashad Evans in London. It’s probably a good thing that never happened.
I was watching this movie last night and I just realized it ain’t worth it. It ain’t worth it. What else am I going to do? I’ve won the belt, I’ve had tonnes of wins, I’ve done everything I set out to achieve. What’s the point in flogging a dead horse?
You got to know when to walk away. I’m almost 40-years old. The time is now.”
After finally reaching the pinnacle of the sport and becoming a UFC champion in 2016, the long and storied journey will now be concluding for the British MMA legend, Michael ‘The Count’ Bisping.
Unfortunately for Bisping, it isn’t coming without some damage. In 2013, Bisping suffered a serious injury in a detached retina after being knocked out by Vitor Belfort. Now after his last loss, he’s revealed that he has a similar issue with the opposite eye now and while he was already contemplating retirement as is, this was the final nail in the coffin for the Brit.
Bisping stated that the issue is known as vitreous detachment which is when fibers break inside the vitreous gel that is behind the retina. The flashing lights Bisping referred to is from those fibers occasionally breaking.
Bisping first entered the UFC in 2006 when he won season 3 of The Ultimate Fighter just two years after making his professional debut. He would go on to set the UFC record for most fights in the organization with 29, tie the UFC record for most wins with 20 and cap off his 39 fight career with a 30-9 record. He defeated the likes of Anderson Silva, Luke Rockhold, Dan Henderson, Brian Stann, Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller, Cung Le, Thales Leites, CB Dollaway, Alan Belcher, Jorge Rivera, Dan Miller, Yoshihiro Akiyama, Chris Leben, Matt Hamill, Denis Kang and Jason Day.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/28/2018.