Did you know that former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping spent time in jail? Well it happened, and the newly inducted UFC Hall of Fame member has opened up about the incident in his new must-read book “Quitters Never Win”.
Bisping (30-9 MMA), who retired from the sport in May of 2018, shared some details about his past arrest during today’s “Ariel Helwani MMA Show“.
‘The Count’, who had never previously spoke about having served time in jail, had the following to say.
“Yea that’s right. A lot of people actually said to me, because I did mention it at the Hall of Fame thing, it kind of slipped the tongue there.” Michael Bisping explained. “So, I knew it was in the book and it was coming out soon. At the time, I was trying to put that behind me. I was trying to become a new person. Reinvent myself. Of course when I was younger, I made a lot of mistakes. A lot of people do. I’m only human. Maybe I made some more than others. I found myself in trouble with the law a few times. I was never a criminal but I was always quick to get into a fight. Go figure, I became a professional fighter. But yea, I went to prison when Rebecca was seven-months pregnant. So that was obviously a low point for me and for her. When I became a mixed martial artist, I didn’t want that to be the stigma. I didn’t want that to be ‘Oh look at this – another tough guy, another criminal or whatever coming in to cage fighting’. Because you automatically assume things. So I never spoke about that because I wasn’t proud of that part of my life. I chose to forget it and put it behind me and become someone new. Now my journey is over. Well, my mixed martial arts journey is over. And, I’ve written a book. You know, it’s only fair to tell the truth.”
Michael Bisping continued providing some detailed information about the night of his arrest.
“Yea it was a bar fight. I went into a bathroom and my friend was on the floor getting his head kicked in by two people. So, what are you going to do? A fight starts and then it spilled outside and continued out there. Then a guy used a women as a human shield, as a distraction, as another guy was inching closer in my peripheral vision I could seem him. Maybe today with my vision being a little messed up I wouldn’t have seen him. But back then I had perfect 20/20 vision and my peripheral was fine, the guy was inching closer with his fists clenched. I knew what he was going to do, and of course after years of martial arts training the one thing I chose to put him down with was a high kick to the head. Maybe a little bit of an overreaction, maybe I shouldn’t have done that, but shin on chin occurred. He went down. The cops pulled up. Long story short I went to prison for a while.”
Ariel Helwani then asked Michael Bisping what prison was like.
“Well I’m going to surprise you here Ariel, it was Shit!” Bisping said laughing. “I’m not in a rush to go back. Let’s just put it like that. It was terrible. First of all, for some reason I went to maximum security prison. 23 hours a day lockup. You got one hour out of your cell a day to walk around in circles. So, it wasn’t fun. But, it taught me some lessons. It really did. The judge that sent me down, did me a favor because I realized you can’t go through your life acting like this. So I mead some changes. Changed my friends. Changed my drinking habits. I became a better person Ariel.”
Michael Bisping captured the UFC middleweight championship in June of 2016, scoring a first round knockout victory over Luke Rockhold at UFC 199. The British legend would go on to defend his title against Dan Henderson at UFC 204, before eventually surrendering the belt to Georges St-Pierre in November of 2017.
Since retiring, Michael Bisping has joined the UFC commentary team and has been doing a terrific job in his new role.
Be sure to check out Bisping’s new book ‘Quitters Never Win’.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com July 23, 2019