Michael Bisping Through the Years

Michael Gavin Joseph Bisping Bisping was born on a British military base in Nicosia, Cyprus. He was raised in Clitheroe, Lancashire, and attended Billington’s St. Augustine’s Roman Catholic High School.

Through his mother Countess Marie Josepha Zamoyska, his Polish paternal grandfather Andrew (Andrzej Bobola Bisping von Gallen) belonged to the aristocratic Zamoyski Family of Poland.

Bisping with his father

Bisping’s father Jan served in the British Army, and his mother is Irish. When he was eight years old, Bisping started learning Jujutsu. At the age of 15, he participated as an amateur in Knock Down Sport Budo (KSBO). This was the first “no holds barred” event held in Britain and a forerunner to contemporary mixed martial arts.

At the age of 18, Bisping made the decision to stop training in martial arts “to pursue real-life”. Less than a year later, Bisping started training in boxing, kickboxing, and karate. This was on the recommendation of Black Knights Kickboxing owner Allan Clarkin, who saw promise in Bisping. In his brief but fruitful kickboxing career, Bisping won both the North West Area championship and the Pro British light heavyweight title.

Michael Bisping made his professional mixed martial arts debut in April 2004 at Pride & Glory 2: Battle of the Ages. Bisping won the match against Steve Mathews via submission.

At Cage Rage 7, Bisping was slated to compete in his third MMA match against Renato Sobral. But ten days before the event, Sobral withdrew. Bisping competed against Mike Epstein instead, and he defeated Epstein to win the Cage Rage light heavyweight title.

In January 2005 at The Ultimate Fight Club UK: Natural Instinct, Bisping faced David Brown in a light heavyweight match to make his cage kickboxing debut. Brown had a severe cut, and Bisping ended up winning round 2 through doctor’s stoppage.

In April 2005 at Ultimate Force, Bisping made his professional debut with the organisation by beating Dave Radford to claim the vacant Cage Warriors light heavyweight championship. In June 2005, he won the FX3 light-heavyweight championship. For a while, he ruled the main federations in the UK.

Bisping featured as a participant under Tito Ortiz’s training in the UFC’s TUF 3 reality television series at the beginning of 2006. He defeated Kristian Rothaermel in a preliminary round through a technical knockout. Bisping defeated Josh Haynes in the championship match by TKO in the second round to become the second Light Heavyweight champion of television series.

Bisping and Eric Schafer were supposed to compete at the TUF 4 finale. However, Bisping withdrew due to issues getting a visa. The match was rescheduled for UFC 66. Bisping ended up winning the match against Schafer via TKO in the first round.

At UFC 72, Michael Bisping competed against Rashad Evans. Bisping ended up losing the match via split decision.

Michael Bisping vs Rashad Evans

People had been advising Bisping that he was too small for the light heavyweight class and would do better at middleweight since the beginning of his MMA career. After losing to Evans, Bisping made the decision to go down a weight class with the backing of UFC president Dana White.

Charles McCarthy was Bisping’s opponent in his middleweight debut at UFC 83 in April 2008. McCarthy suffered a forearm injury in the first round after taking an unanswered barrage of knees and uppercuts from Bisping, which resulted in Bisping winning through TKO.

Bisping was selected as one of the coaches of the TUF’s ninth season. The other coach was Dan Henderson, a former PRIDE 205-pound and 185-pound champion. Following the completion of the programme, Bisping faced Henderson at UFC 100 in July 2009 in Mandalay Bay. The match was thought an elimination but for the top contender position for the UFC Middleweight Championship. Henderson circled to his left and threw an overhand right that knocked Bisping out. After Bisping had been knocked to the ground, Henderson immediately followed with a blow. It was Bisping’s first defeat through knockout.

At UFC 110 in February 2010, Bisping went up against former PRIDE Middleweight Champion Wanderlei Silva. Silva ended up winning the match via unanimous decision.

At UFC on Fox 2, Bisping was scheduled to compete against Demian Maia in January 2012. However, Mark Muñoz was forced to withdraw from his match in the same event as Chael Sonnen due to an injury. Thus. Bisping faced Sonnen in order to advance in the Middleweight championship rankings and face Anderson Silva. Bisping was defeated by Sonnen via unanimous decision.

In January 2013, Bisping competed against former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Vitor Belfort. A victory would have earned Bisping a chance at the championship. He was struck flush with a head kick in the second round, which caused him to lose the bout through TKO. According to Bisping, this kick separated the retina of his right eye. He put off going to the doctor out of concern that he wouldn’t be able to participate once again.

At UFC Fight Night 55 in November 2014, Bisping competed against Luke Rockhold. After being knocked out by a head kick, he was eventually submitted by a guillotine choke in the second round.

In February 2016 at UFC Fight Night 84, Bisping and Gegard Mousasi were briefly mentioned as potential opponents. But Bisping withdrew from the match on December 24 to compete against Anderson Silva at the same event. Bisping ended up winning the match via unanimous decision.

Bisping stepped up with just 17 days’ notice to challenge champion Luke Rockhold for a second time at UFC 199 in June 2016. He became the UFC Middleweight Champion and the first British UFC champion as he won the match via knockout in the first round.

Given that Bisping accepted the match on short notice and had been submitted in their last meeting 18 months earlier, the outcome was hailed by many MMA media sources as one of the greatest surprises in the history of the UFC championship bouts.

Bisping competed against former UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St-Pierre in November 2017 at the UFC 217 main event. Due to a rear-naked choke submission in the third round, Bisping was forced to concede the match through technical submission.

The formal announcement of Bisping’s retirement from MMA came on May 28, 2018. On The Joe Rogan Experience in late December 2018, Bisping discussed his decision to leave mixed martial arts. He said it was motivated by an eye injury sustained during his match with Kelvin Gastelum.

At UFC Fight Night: Till vs Masvidal in March 2019, it was revealed that Michael Bisping will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame. He published his book ‘Quitters Never Win: My Life in UFC’ on November 1st, 2019.

The news that Bisping has been cast in the movie ‘XXX: Return of Xander Cage’ was made public in April 2016. Later on in the same month, Bisping made it known that he was a fan of the 1990s television show ‘Twin Peaks’ and that he had been given a tiny part in the 2017 continuation of the show. In the sports drama movie ‘My Name Is Lenny’, he played the role of Roy Shaw.

Michael Bisping in ‘XXX – Return of Xander Cage’

Michael Bisping in ‘Twin Peaks’

Bisping met his wife Rebecca in Manchester. The couple lives in Orange County, California, with their three kids. Their eldest son Callum is a skilled wrestler who competes for San Francisco State University in the NCAA Division II ranks. He was a CIF champion in high school.

Michael Bisping with his wife Rebecca

Michael Bisping suffers from strabismus, a condition in which the eyes are not correctly aligned while gazing at an object. This was brought on by a detached retina during Bisping’s 2013 bout with Vitor Belfort. Given that Belfort was on testosterone replacement treatment at the time, the loss was seen as controversial by many.

Bisping made his UFC colour commentary debut at UFC Fight Night 144 fter making many appearances on the Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series commentary team in 2017. It was in Fortaleza, Brazil, in February 2019. In July 2020 at UFC 251 in Abu Dhabi, he made his UFC pay-per-view commentary debut.

Bisping is a huge fan of Manchester United football club.