Michael Bisping

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Michael Bisping
Michael Bisping.jpg
Bisping in September 2013
Born (1979-02-28) 28 February 1979 (age 39)
Nicosia, Cyprus
Other namesThe Count
ResidenceAnaheim, California
NationalityBritish
Height6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)[1]
Division
Reach75 12 in (192 cm)[2]
StyleKickboxing, Jiu-jitsu
Fighting out ofManchester, England
Team
Rank     Brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Brady Fink[4]
     Black belt in Yawara-ryu Jujutsu[citation needed]
Years active2004–2018
Mixed martial arts record
Total39
Wins30
By knockout16
By submission4
By decision10
Losses9
By knockout3
By submission2
By decision4
Websitehttps://michaelbispingofficial.com/
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Michael Bisping (born 28 February 1979) is an English actor and retired mixed martial artist who competed in the Middleweight division of the UFC. A professional competitor since 2004, he is a former UFC Middleweight Champion, a former Cage Rage Light Heavyweight Champion and The Ultimate Fighter 3 Light Heavyweight tournament winner. At UFC 78, he became the first British fighter to compete in a UFC main event. At UFC 199, he became the first British fighter to win a UFC Championship.[5] He remains the sole British winner of a UFC title.

Early life[edit]

Bisping was born on a British Military Base in Nicosia, Cyprus and grew up in Clitheroe, Lancashire.[6] He attended St Augustine's Roman Catholic High School, Billington.[7] His Polish paternal grandfather, Andrew (Andrzej), fled with his family from Poland to England after the German invasion in 1939. Bisping's father Jan was in the British Army;[8] his mother is Irish.[9] He began training Jujutsu at the age of eight. In 1994, at the age of 15, he competed as an amateur in Britain's first "no holds barred" competition, a precursor to modern MMA, called Knock Down Sport Budo (KSBO).[10]

At the age of 18, Bisping decided to abandon his martial arts training "to pursue real life".[11] Less than a year later, Bisping began training in boxing, kickboxing, and karate on the advice of Allan Clarkin, owner of Black Knights Kickboxing, who saw potential in him. Bisping enjoyed a short but successful kickboxing career, winning the North West Area title and later the Pro British light heavyweight kickboxing title.[10] After again briefly quitting competition in 1998, Bisping returned to kickboxing to take the Pro British light heavyweight title for a second time. Soon after winning his second kickboxing title, he was forced to abandon his full-time training for a "real job". In addition to working at factories, slaughterhouses and demolition companies, he was also an upholsterer, postman, tiler, plasterer and salesman.[12]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Bisping made his professional mixed martial arts debut at Pride & Glory 2: Battle of the Ages on 4 April 2004, taking a 0:38 submission victory over Steve Mathews. Just one month later, Bisping scored his first knockout against John Weir at UK MMA Challenge 7: Rage & Fury. In his third MMA match, Bisping became the Cage Rage light heavyweight champion at Cage Rage 7, defeating Mark Epstein by technical knockout. Bisping went on to defend his championship title in a rematch against Epstein at Cage Rage 9 in a knockout victory that solidified Bisping as one of the top light heavyweight fighters in England. It also earned him the moniker "The Great British Hope", by UFC.com.[13]

At The Ultimate Fight Club UK: Natural Instinct on 29 January 2005, Bisping made his cage kickboxing debut against David Brown in a light heavyweight contest.[14]With Brown badly cut, Bisping picked up the win via doctor stoppage in round 2.

Bisping made his debut for the promotion at Ultimate Force on 30 April 2005, defeating Dave Radford to win the vacant Cage Warriors light heavyweight title. Bisping then competed in another light heavyweight cage kickboxing contest, against Cyrille Diabaté at CWFC: Strike Force 1 on 21 May 2005, losing via decision after the end of the first extra round. He captured the FX3 light-heavyweight title on 18 June 2005 and, for a time, reigned over the UK's major federations. In his first Cage Warriors title defence, Bisping defeated Miika Mehmet at CWFC: Strike Force 2, on 16 July 2005.[15]

In September 2005, Cage Rage stripped the light heavyweight title from Bisping due to "management issues",[16] though Cage Warriors stated that "Bisping was willing to defend his title but is being punished by Cage Rage due to his Wolfslair and Cage Warriors links".[17] Towards the end of 2005, Bisping again successfully defended the Cage Warriors title, this time against Jakob Lovstad[18] and Ross Pointon in the CWFC: Strike Force series of events, leading to a record of 10 wins and no losses.[19]

The Ultimate Fighter 3[edit]

Bisping in 2007

In early 2006, Bisping was featured on the UFC's The Ultimate Fighter 3 reality television series as a contestant training under Tito Ortiz. He won a preliminary bout against Kristian Rothaermel by TKO, followed by a semi-final win against Ross Pointon by submission after landing a flying knee and a series of strikes. In the finals, Bisping finished Josh Haynes by TKO at 4:14 into the second round, making Bisping the second Light Heavyweight winner of The Ultimate Fighter television series.[20][21]

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

Five months after his victory in the TUF 3 finals, Bisping was slated to fight Eric Schafer at The Ultimate Fighter 4 finale, but withdrew because of problems acquiring his visa.[22] The fight was rescheduled and held on 30 December at UFC 66. Bisping defeated Schafer by TKO at 4:24 in the first round.[23]

On 21 April 2007, Bisping scored a TKO win over Elvis Sinosic at UFC 70 in Manchester, England.[24]

Bisping was a special guest referee at the Cage Warriors events Enter The Wolfslair on 5 March 2005 and CWFC: Strike Force 6 on 27 May 2006.[25]

On 8 September 2007, Bisping faced former Ultimate Fighter 3 rival Matt Hamill in London, England. Bisping won a controversial split decision after three rounds. Hamill pushed the pace and took Bisping down numerous times in the first two rounds, with Bisping hitting solid strikes and blocking numerous takedown attempts towards the end of the second round and in the third round.[26][27]

Bisping's next match at UFC 78 against fellow Ultimate Fighter winner Rashad Evans resulted in his first loss, via split decision.[28]

Move down to middleweight[edit]

Bisping (left) and Denis Kang at the weigh-ins for UFC 105

Since the start of his MMA career, people had been advising Bisping that he was a little too small for light heavyweight and would do better at middleweight. With the support of UFC president Dana White, Bisping then decided to drop down a weight division, following his loss to Evans.[29] On 19 April 2008 at UFC 83, Bisping made his middleweight debut against Charles McCarthy. Bisping won by TKO, as McCarthy was unable to continue after the first round due to a forearm injury he sustained after receiving an unanswered series of knees and uppercuts from Bisping.[30]

Bisping's next fight at middleweight was scheduled to be on 7 June 2008 at UFC 85 in London, against Chris Leben. However, after Leben was sentenced to jail for 35 days and unable to compete, Jason Day stepped in.[31] Bisping won the fight in dominant fashion by first round TKO; it was his second 1st round TKO in a row.[32]

Bisping instead fought Leben in the headliner of UFC 89 on 18 October 2008[31] and won by unanimous decision.[33] After the fight, Leben tested positive for Stanozolol and was suspended for nine months.[34][35]

Bisping was confirmed as one of the coaches on the ninth season of The Ultimate Fighter.[36][37] The other coach was the former PRIDE 205lb & 185lb Champion Dan Henderson. After the show's conclusion, Bisping fought Henderson at UFC 100 on 11 July 2009 at Mandalay Bay.[38] The fight was believed to be an eliminator for the UFC Middleweight Championship top contender spot. Bisping was knocked out by Henderson with a flush overhand right while he was circling to his left. Henderson followed up with a strike after Bisping had fallen to the ground before the fight was stopped. It marked the first occasion Bisping had ever conceded a knockout loss.[39] Bisping could not remember the fight after the iconic knock out, thinking instead that the fight was scheduled to take place two months later.[40]

Bisping faced Spirit MC and PRIDE veteran Denis Kang at UFC 105 on 14 November 2009.[42] Bisping won by second round TKO.[43] The fight was awarded Fight of the Night, giving both Kang and Bisping a $40,000 bonus.[44]

Bisping next faced former PRIDE Middleweight Champion Wanderlei Silva at UFC 110 on 21 February 2010.[45] Silva's ability to flurry in the final seconds of the second and third rounds, two knockdowns, and an attempted guillotine choke contributed to his victory by a clear unanimous decision.[46][47]

Bisping defeated Dan Miller by unanimous decision on 29 May 2010 at UFC 114.[48]

Bisping faced and defeated Yoshihiro Akiyama on 16 October 2010 at UFC 120, winning 30–27 on all three judges' scorecards.[49] Though Bisping was rocked early in the fight by Akiyama, he regained his composure and landed combinations repeatedly on Akiyama to sweep all three judges scorecards.[50] The fight was awarded Fight of the Night award.[51]

Bisping faced off in an emotionally charged fight against Jorge Rivera on 26 February 2011 at UFC 127. Both fighters had trash talked each other before the fight, having to be restrained at the weigh-in during a verbal argument. Bisping dominated the first round scoring a few takedowns until he delivered an illegal knee to the head of Rivera. A point was taken from Bisping and, after a lengthy halt to the action, the fight continued. The fight ended with a TKO from Bisping in the second round. Bisping spat at Rivera's corner after the fight and angrily confronted Rivera about pre-fight comments that Bisping thought disparaged his family. Rivera denied the comments and attempted to make amends but Bisping told him to "go home" and called him a "loser." He immediately apologised in the post match interview.[52] In the aftermath of the incident Bisping faced "disciplinary actions" and was fined.[53] Multiple fighters subsequently came forward and said that they wanted to fight Bisping in light of the incident, including UFC middleweight notables such as Chael Sonnen, Vitor Belfort, Demian Maia, Alan Belcher and Nate Marquardt.[54][55]

On 27 May 2011, it was revealed that Bisping would be one of the coaches of The Ultimate Fighter 14 opposite Jason Miller.[56] There were concerns that Miller had spies in Bisping's training camp, but Bisping was confident that was not true.[57] Bisping defeated Jason Miller via third round TKO on 3 December 2011 at The Ultimate Fighter 14 finale.[58]

Bisping was expected to face Demian Maia on 28 January 2012 at UFC on Fox 2.[59] However, an injury forced Mark Muñoz out of his bout on the same card with Chael Sonnen and Bisping instead fought Sonnen for a chance to challenge Anderson Silva for the Middleweight title.[60] Sonnen defeated Bisping via a controversial unanimous decision.[61]

Bisping was expected to face Tim Boetsch on 21 July 2012 at UFC 149.[62] However, Bisping was forced out of the bout with an injury and replaced by promotional newcomer Hector Lombard.[63]

Bisping faced Brian Stann on 22 September 2012 at UFC 152.[64] Bisping won the fight via unanimous decision.[65]

Bisping faced former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Vitor Belfort on 19 January 2013 at UFC on FX: Belfort vs. Bisping in a fight which would have given Bisping a title shot had he won. However, he lost the fight via second-round TKO after getting hit flush by a head kick. According to Bisping, this kick caused the later diagnosed retinal detachment of his right eye. Fear of not being able to compete again prevented him from seeing a doctor.[66]

Bisping went on to face Alan Belcher on 27 April 2013 at UFC 159. In the first round Bisping managed to out-box his opponent and score a brief trip takedown, in addition to landing a solid knee. Bisping then noticeably stepped up the pace of the fight in round 2, landing some heavy kicks and multiple combinations of punches. The fight was then stopped at 4:29 of round 3 as Bisping inadvertently poked Belcher in the eye, rendering Belcher unable to continue. Bisping won the bout via unanimous technical decision.[67]

Bisping was expected to face Mark Muñoz on 26 October 2013 at UFC Fight Night 30.[68] However, after symptoms of his detached retina became too bad he decided to undergo surgery, which included full removal of the eyeball.[69] He pulled out of the bout on 27 September and was replaced by Lyoto Machida.[70]

After nearly a year away from the sport due to his eye injury, Bisping returned to face Tim Kennedy on 16 April 2014 at The Ultimate Fighter Nations Finale.[71] He lost the fight via unanimous decision.[72]

In April 2014, it was reported that both Bisping and Brad Tavares were interested in a potential fight.[73] However, in May 2014, it was announced that Bisping would face Cung Le on 23 August 2014 at UFC Fight Night 48.[74] Bisping won the one-sided fight via TKO in the fourth round.[75] The win also earned Bisping his first Performance of the Night bonus award.[76]

Bisping faced Luke Rockhold on 8 November 2014 at UFC Fight Night 55.[77] He lost the fight in the second round after being dropped by a head kick and then submitted with a guillotine choke.[78]

Bisping faced C.B. Dollaway on 25 April 2015 at UFC 186.[79] Bisping won the fight by unanimous decision.[80]

Bisping faced Thales Leites on 18 July 2015 at UFC Fight Night 72.[81] He won the back-and-forth fight by split decision.[82]

Bisping was expected to face Robert Whittaker on 15 November 2015 at UFC 193.[83] However, it was announced on 30 September 2015 that Bisping had withdrawn from the bout, citing an elbow injury, and been replaced by Uriah Hall.[84]

Bisping was briefly linked to a fight with Gegard Mousasi on 27 February 2016 at UFC Fight Night 84.[85] However, on 24 December, Bisping was pulled from the bout in favour of a match-up with Anderson Silva at the same event.[86] Bisping won the back and forth fight via unanimous decision.[87] Both participants were awarded Fight of the Night honours.[88]

UFC Middleweight Champion[edit]

With an injury to Chris Weidman forcing him to pull out of the fight, Bisping stepped up on only 17 days' notice to face champion Luke Rockhold for a second time on 4 June 2016 at UFC 199.[89] He won via knockout in the first round to become the UFC Middleweight Champion and the first British UFC champion.[90] He was awarded Performance of the Night honours.[91] The result was considered by many MMA media outlets to be one of the biggest upsets in the UFC title fight history, as Bisping took the fight on short notice and had been submitted in their first encounter 18 months earlier.[92][93]

Bisping faced Dan Henderson in a rematch on 8 October 2016 at UFC 204.[94] Bisping won the fight via unanimous decision and retained the UFC Middleweight Championship.[95] Both fighters were awarded Fight of the Night for their performance.[96]

On 1 March 2017 while on SportsCenter, Dana White announced that Bisping's next title defence would be against the returning former UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St-Pierre sometime in 2017.[97] However, on 11 May 2017, White announced the fight had been cancelled. The UFC and Bisping had wanted to have the fight at UFC 213, as part of International Fight Week in Las Vegas, but St-Pierre announced on his Instagram page that he needed more training to meet the 185 pound weight and would not be ready to fight until November.[98] The pairing eventually took place on 4 November 2017 in the main event at UFC 217.[99] Bisping lost the bout via technical submission due to a rear-naked choke in the third round.[100]

After UFC Middleweight Championship[edit]

Three weeks after losing the Middleweight title, Bisping faced Kelvin Gastelum as a replacement for Anderson Silva, who was suspended by USADA due to falling drug test, on 25 November 2017 at UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs. Gastelum.[101][102] He lost the fight via knockout in the first round.[103]

On 28 May 2018, Bisping officially announced his retirement from MMA competition.[104]

Acting career[edit]

On 6 April 2016, Bisping announced that he had landed a role in the film xXx: The Return of Xander Cage.[105][106] Later that month, Bisping revealed that he is a fan of the 1990s television series Twin Peaks and that he had gained a small role in the upcoming continuation of the series.[107][108] He portrayed Roy Shaw in the sports drama film My Name Is Lenny.[109]

Personal life[edit]

Bisping met his Australian wife, Rebecca, in Manchester. The couple have three children and reside in Orange County, California.[59][110][111] Their third child was born just before Bisping set off to the USA for final preparation in his fight against Dan Miller.[112]

Bisping suffers from strabismus, which is a condition in which the eyes are not properly aligned when looking at object. This was caused by a detached retina injury from the fight with Vitor Belfort at UFC on FX: Belfort vs. Bisping in 2013, which Bisping lost via technical knock out in round two. The loss was considered controversial, as at that time Belfort was on testosterone replacement therapy. Bisping stated his satisfaction after Belfort lost via a knockout from a front kick by Lyoto Machida on 12 May 2018 at UFC 224, in his retirement fight.[113]

Bisping's moniker, 'The Count', was given by a ring announcer during a fight.[115]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Cage Rage Championships

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 30–9 Kelvin Gastelum KO (punch) UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs. Gastelum 25 November 2017 1 2:30 Shanghai, China
Loss 30–8 Georges St-Pierre Technical submission (rear-naked choke) UFC 217 4 November 2017 3 4:23 New York City, New York, United States Lost the UFC Middleweight Championship.
Win 30–7 Dan Henderson Decision (unanimous) UFC 204 8 October 2016 5 5:00 Manchester, England Defended the UFC Middleweight Championship. Fight of the Night.
Win 29–7 Luke Rockhold KO (punches) UFC 199 4 June 2016 1 3:36 Inglewood, California, United States Won the UFC Middleweight Championship. Performance of the Night. Upset of the Year (2016).
Win 28–7 Anderson Silva Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Silva vs. Bisping 27 February 2016 5 5:00 London, England Fight of the Night.
Win 27–7 Thales Leites Decision (split) UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs. Leites 18 July 2015 5 5:00 Glasgow, Scotland
Win 26–7 C.B. Dollaway Decision (unanimous) UFC 186 25 April 2015 3 5:00 Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Loss 25–7 Luke Rockhold Submission (guillotine choke) UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs. Bisping 8 November 2014 2 0:57 Sydney, Australia
Win 25–6 Cung Le TKO (knee and punches) UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs. Le 23 August 2014 4 0:57 Macau, SAR, China Performance of the Night.
Loss 24–6 Tim Kennedy Decision (unanimous) The Ultimate Fighter Nations Finale: Bisping vs. Kennedy 16 April 2014 5 5:00 Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
Win 24–5 Alan Belcher Technical Decision (unanimous) UFC 159 27 April 2013 3 4:29 Newark, New Jersey, United States
Loss 23–5 Vitor Belfort TKO (head kick and punches) UFC on FX: Belfort vs. Bisping 19 January 2013 2 1:27 São Paulo, Brazil
Win 23–4 Brian Stann Decision (unanimous) UFC 152 22 September 2012 3 5:00 Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Loss 22–4 Chael Sonnen Decision (unanimous) UFC on Fox: Evans vs. Davis 28 January 2012 3 5:00 Chicago, Illinois, United States UFC Middleweight title eliminator.
Win 22–3 Jason Miller TKO (knees to the body and punches) The Ultimate Fighter: Team Bisping vs. Team Miller Finale 3 December 2011 3 3:34 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 21–3 Jorge Rivera TKO (punches) UFC 127 27 February 2011 2 1:54 Sydney, Australia
Win 20–3 Yoshihiro Akiyama Decision (unanimous) UFC 120 16 October 2010 3 5:00 London, England Fight of the Night.
Win 19–3 Dan Miller Decision (unanimous) UFC 114 29 May 2010 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 18–3 Wanderlei Silva Decision (unanimous) UFC 110 20 February 2010 3 5:00 Sydney, Australia
Win 18–2 Denis Kang TKO (knees to the body and punches) UFC 105 14 November 2009 2 4:24 Manchester, England Fight of the Night.
Loss 17–2 Dan Henderson KO (punch) UFC 100 11 July 2009 2 3:20 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States UFC Middleweight title eliminator.
Win 17–1 Chris Leben Decision (unanimous) UFC 89 18 October 2008 3 5:00 Birmingham, England Leben tested positive for Stanozolol.
Win 16–1 Jason Day TKO (punches) UFC 85 7 June 2008 1 3:42 London, England
Win 15–1 Charles McCarthy TKO (arm injury) UFC 83 19 April 2008 1 5:00 Montreal, Quebec, Canada Middleweight debut.
Loss 14–1 Rashad Evans Decision (split) UFC 78 17 November 2007 3 5:00 Newark, New Jersey, United States
Win 14–0 Matt Hamill Decision (split) UFC 75 8 September 2007 3 5:00 London, England
Win 13–0 Elvis Sinosic TKO (punches) UFC 70 21 April 2007 2 1:40 Manchester, England Fight of the Night.
Win 12–0 Eric Schafer TKO (punches) UFC 66 30 December 2006 1 4:24 Las Vegas, Nevada United States
Win 11–0 Josh Haynes TKO (punches) The Ultimate Fighter: Team Ortiz vs. Team Shamrock Finale 24 June 2006 2 4:14 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Won The Ultimate Fighter 3.
Win 10–0 Ross Pointon Submission (armbar) CWFC: Strike Force 4 26 November 2005 1 2:00 Coventry, England Defended the Cage Warriors Light Heavyweight Championship.
Win 9–0 Jakob Lovstad Submission (punches) CWFC: Strike Force 3 1 October 2005 1 1:10 Coventry, England Defended the Cage Warriors Light Heavyweight Championship.
Win 8–0 Miika Mehmet TKO (corner stoppage) CWFC: Strike Force 2 16 July 2005 1 3:01 Coventry, England Defended the Cage Warriors Light Heavyweight Championship.
Win 7–0 Alex Cook Submission (guillotine choke) FX3: Xplosion 18 June 2005 1 3:21 Reading, England Won the FX3 Light Heavyweight Championship.
Win 6–0 Dave Radford TKO (punches) CWFC: Ultimate Force 30 April 2005 1 2:46 Sheffield, England Won the Cage Warriors Light Heavyweight Championship.
Win 5–0 Mark Epstein KO (punch) Cage Rage 9 27 November 2004 3 4:43 London, England Defended the Cage Rage Light Heavyweight Championship.
Win 4–0 Andy Bridges KO (punch) Pride & Glory 3: Glory Days 7 August 2004 1 0:45 Newcastle upon Tyne, England
Win 3–0 Mark Epstein TKO (punches and knees) Cage Rage 7 10 July 2004 2 1:27 London, England Won the Cage Rage Light Heavyweight Championship.
Win 2–0 John Weir TKO (punches) UK MMA Championship 7: Rage & Fury 30 May 2004 1 0:50 Manchester, England
Win 1–0 Steve Mathews Submission (armbar) Pride & Glory 2: Battle of the Ages 10 April 2004 1 0:38 Newcastle upon Tyne, England

Mixed martial arts exhibition record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 2–0 Ross Pointon Submission (punches) The Ultimate Fighter 3 15 June 2006 (Air date) 1 2:13 United States Las Vegas, Nevada Semi Final bout.
Win 1–0 Kristian Rothaermel TKO (punches) The Ultimate Fighter 3 27 April 2006 (Air date) 1 3:51 United States Las Vegas, Nevada Quarter Final bout.

Submission grappling record[edit]

Result Opponent Method Event Date Notes
Draw United States Chael Sonnen Draw UR FIGHT 20 March 2016 Three 5 minute rounds

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2014 Plastic Kasper
2015 Strike Back TV Series
2017 xXx: Return of Xander Cage Hawk
2017 Twin Peaks Guard TV Series
2017 My Name Is Lenny Roy Shaw
2017 Dark Matter Goren TV Series
2018 Triple Threat Production
2018 Den of Thieves

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  4. ^ "Michael Bisping Earns His BJJ Brown Belt". wbbjj.com. 12 January 2015.
  5. ^ "Michael Bisping stuns Luke Rockhold to become Britain's first UFC champion". theguardian.com. 5 June 2016.
  6. ^ "Michael Bisping: UFC superstar made in Britain". BBC. 4 November 2014.
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External links[edit]

Achievements
Preceded by
Luke Rockhold
8th UFC Middleweight Champion
4 June 2016 – 4 November 2017
Succeeded by
Georges St-Pierre