28 February 1979 |
Nicosia, Cyprus (British Military base)
|Other names||The Count|
|Height||6 ft 2 in (188 cm)|
|Weight||185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)|
Light Heavyweight (2004–2007)
|Reach||75 in (190 cm)|
|Fighting out of||Manchester, England|
|Team||Reign Training Center
HB Ultimate Training Center
RVCA Training Center
|Rank||Brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Brady Fink|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
Michael Bisping (born 28 February 1979) is an English mixed martial artist who competes in the middleweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). He is a former Cage Rage Light Heavyweight Champion, and The Ultimate Fighter 3 Light Heavyweight Tournament winner. As of 8 October 2015, Bisping is ranked #7 in official UFC middleweight rankings.
Bisping was born on a British military base in Nicosia, Cyprus, and was raised in Lancashire, England. There he began training Jujutsu at the age of 8. 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).
At the age of 18, Bisping decided to abandon his martial arts training "to pursue real life". 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 the young fighter. Bisping enjoyed a short but successful kickboxing career, winning the North West Area title and later the Pro British light heavyweight kickboxing title. 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, Bisping was forced to abandon his full-time training for a "real job". Bisping worked at factories, slaughterhouses and demolition companies; he was an upholsterer, postman, tiler, plasterer and salesman.
Mixed martial arts career
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.
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. 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 to Diabaté via decision after the end of the first extra round. He captured the FX3 light-heavyweight title on 18 June 2005 and was reigning on 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.
In September 2005, Cage Rage stripped the light heavyweight title from Bisping due to "management issues", 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". Towards the end of 2005, Bisping again successfully defended the Cage Warriors title, this time against Jakob Lovstad and Ross Pointon in the CWFC: Strike Force series of events, leading to a record of 10 wins and no losses.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
In early 2006 Bisping was featured on the UFC's The Ultimate Fighter 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.
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. The fight was re-scheduled and held on 30 December at UFC 66. Bisping defeated Schafer by TKO at 4:24 in the first round.
On 21 April 2007, Bisping scored a TKO win over Elvis Sinosic at UFC 70 in Manchester, England. Sinosic came out fighting and Bisping eagerly obliged, firing back before throwing the Australian to the canvas. Bisping then launched a vicious ground and pound attack, opening a cut on Sinosic's forehead. In the second round Bisping was knocked down from a knee. Then Sinosic almost secured a kimura before Bisping reversed and pounded away until Steve Mazzagatti stopped the bout at 1:40 of the second round.
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.
On 8 September 2007, Bisping faced former Ultimate Fighter 3 rival Matt Hamill in London, England and won a controversial split decision after 3 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 and in the third round. Both American judges scored the bout 29–28 for Bisping, the lone British judge voted 30–27 for Hamill.
Bisping's next match at UFC 78 against fellow Ultimate Fighter winner Rashad Evans resulted in his first loss, via split decision with the scores being 29–28 for Bisping, and 29–28 (twice) for Evans.
Move down to Middleweight
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, and after his loss to Evans, Bisping decided to drop down a weight division, with UFC president, Dana White's support. On 19 April 2008 at UFC 83, Bisping made his middleweight debut against Charles McCarthy who had a rather lackluster record in MMA. 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.
Bisping's next fight at middleweight was scheduled to be on 7 June 2008 at UFC 85 in London, against Chris Leben. However, Jason Day stepped in after Leben was sentenced to jail for 35 days and unable to compete. Bisping won the fight in dominant fashion in the first round, securing two takedowns and applying high paced pressure; it was his second 1st round TKO in a row.
Bisping finally fought Chris Leben in the headliner of UFC 89 on 18 October 2008. Bisping won by unanimous decision. The judges scored the fight 30–27 (twice), and 29–28 for Bisping. Bisping used effective counter punching in the fight to keep the aggressive Leben at bay. After the fight Leben tested positive for Stanozolol and was suspended for nine months.
After the fight with Leben, Bisping was confirmed as one of the coaches on the ninth season of The Ultimate Fighter. 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. 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.
Bisping faced Spirit MC and PRIDE veteran Denis Kang at UFC 105 on 14 November 2009. Bisping TKO'd Kang in the 2nd round. Kang dropped Bisping with a right hand in the first round which stunned the Briton. Kang followed Bisping to the floor and attempted submissions, but Bisping defended well and neutralised Kang's attacks despite Kang briefly having full mount. In the 2nd round Bisping secured a single-leg takedown and the complexion of the fight changed. He unleashed a ground and pound attack on the Canadian, which Kang failed to recover from. The fight was awarded "Fight of the Night" giving both Kang and Bisping a $40,000 bonus.
Bisping next faced former PRIDE Middleweight Champion Wanderlei Silva at UFC 110 on 21 February 2010. Wanderlei 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 (29–28, 29–28, 29–28).
Bisping faced and defeated Yoshihiro Akiyama on October 16, 2010 at UFC 120, winning 30–27 on all three judges' scorecards. Though Bisping was rocked early in the fight by Akiyama, he regained his composure and landed combos repeatedly on Akiyama to sweep all three judges scorecards. The fight was awarded Fight of the Night honours.
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. After the fight Bisping spat at Rivera's corner and confronted Rivera on pre-fight comments that Bisping thought disparaged his family. Rivera denied the comments and tried to mend things but Bisping told him to "Go home" and called him a "loser." In the aftermath of the incident Bisping faced "disciplinary actions" and was fined. Multiple fighters have since come forward saying they want to fight Bisping in light of the incident including UFC middleweight notables Chael Sonnen, Vitor Belfort, Demian Maia, Alan Belcher, and Nate Marquardt.
On 27 May 2011, it was revealed that Bisping would be one of the coaches of The Ultimate Fighter 14 opposite Jason Miller. There were concerns that Miller had spies in Bisping's training camp, but Bisping was confident that was not true. Bisping defeated Jason Miller via third round TKO on 3 December 2011 at The Ultimate Fighter 14 finale.
Bisping was expected to face Demian Maia on 28 January 2012 at UFC on Fox 2 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. Sonnen defeated Bisping via unanimous decision.
Bisping faced former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Vitor Belfort on 19 January 2013 at UFC on FX: Belfort vs. Bisping in a fight which, if won, would have given Bisping a title shot. However, he lost the fight via second-round TKO after getting hit flush by a head kick.
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, score a brief trip take-down, and land a very accurate, clean and extremely solid knee. Bisping then noticeably stepped up the pace of the fight in round 2, landing some heavy kicks and multiple combinations of solid 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. The judges' scores in Bisping's favour read 30–27, 30–27, and 29–28.
Bisping was expected to face Mark Muñoz on 26 October 2013 at UFC Fight Night 30. However, Bisping pulled out of the bout with a detached retina eye injury and was replaced by Lyoto Machida. The detached retina required surgery, including full removal of the eyeball.
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. He lost the fight via unanimous decision.
In April 2014, it was reported that both Bisping and Brad Tavares were interested in a potential fight. However, in May 2014, it was announced that Bisping would face Cung Le on 23 August 2014 at UFC Fight Night 48. Bisping won the one-sided fight via TKO in the fourth round. The win also earned Bisping his first Performance of the Night bonus award. After the bout, it was revealed that Le tested positive for elevated levels of HGH. There has been some dispute about the abnormal test, as the lab in question was not WADA-approved, did not do the appropriate HGH test, and destroyed the blood sample before confirmatory tests could be done. Ultimately, on 21 October, the UFC reversed their decision and rescinded Le's suspension. This decision was made after several flaws were found in the testing process.
Bisping was expected to face Robert Whittaker on 15 November 2015 at UFC 193. However, it was announced on 30 September 2015 that Bisping withdrew from the bout citing an elbow injury and was replaced by Uriah Hall.
Bisping's grandfather Andrew (Andrzej) was a Polish noble and the rest of his ancestry is English. After World War II, Bisping's grandfather relocated to England. His father Jan was in the British army. Bisping has three children with his wife, Rebecca. Bisping's third child was born just before he set off to the USA for final preparation in his fight against Dan Miller. Bisping has family around the globe, including in Germany, England, Ireland, Scotland and the United States. He resides in Orange County, California.
Championships and accomplishments
Mixed martial arts
- Ultimate Fighting Championship
- The Ultimate Fighter 3 Light Heavyweight Tournament Winner
- First Non-American to win The Ultimate Fighter
- First British fighter to Headline a UFC (UFC 78)
- Fight of the Night (Three times) vs. Elvis Sinosic, Denis Kang, Yoshihiro Akiyama
- Performance of the Night (One time) vs. Cung Le
- Tied (Anderson Silva) for third most wins in the UFC (17)
- Cage Rage Championship
- Cage Rage Light Heavyweight Championship (One time)
- One successful title defenses
- Cage Warriors Fighting Championship
- CWFC Light Heavyweight Championship (One time)
- Three successful title defenses
- FX3 Light Heavyweight Championship (One time)
- World MMA Awards
- 2008 & 2012 International Fighter of the Year
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|34 matches||27 wins||7 losses|
|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||7 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||Eye poke rendered Belcher unable to continue.|
|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: Liddell vs. Ortiz||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|
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