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5 most iconic Michael Bisping moments in the UFC

5 most iconic Michael Bisping moments in the UFC [Image via of @michael on Twitter]
5 most iconic Michael Bisping moments in the UFC [Image via of @michael on Twitter]
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C. Naik

Michael Bisping's mixed martial arts career is one of the most shocking tales of courage, perseverance and heart you'll ever hope to find.

Bisping will always be remembered as a pioneer of the UK MMA scene. His journey from Cage Warriors champion to undisputed UFC world champion is worthy of a Hollywood screenplay. The unfathomable amount of adversity he encountered and overcame during the course of his career has solidified his status as one of the most iconic fighters in MMA history and a bonafide UFC legend.

What a legacy.Thank you @Bisping on a remarkable career. #ThanksBisping https://t.co/lcZhuLwW0F

Bisping retired in 2017 and has since carried over his incredible work ethic into his post-fighting endeavors. 'The Count' has a hugely successful podcast, released a critically acclaimed biography, runs a YouTube channel, co-produced a documentary on his career and is one of the best commentators in the UFC. He has also been inducted into the promotion's Hall of Fame.

We thought we'd pay our dues and honor the career of the legendary Englishman. With that said, here are the five most iconic Michael Bisping moments in the UFC.


#5. Michael Bisping wins The Ultimate Fighter season 3

UFC fans were first introduced to Michael Bisping during his appearance on season 3 of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF). That particular TUF season pitted former UFC fighters and bitter rivals Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock as opposing coaches. Bisping was drafted into Team Ortiz.

Bisping, along with fellow Brit Ross Pointon, stood out as sore thumbs in a house primarily filled with Americans. His thick Manchester accent was so strong that the production team had to include subtitles specifically for him in the final broadcast of the show.

Watch a recap of TUF season 3 below:

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Bisping defeated Kristian Rothaermel via TKO in the elimination round to advance to the semifinals. In the semis, he bagged a submission victory over his countryman Pointon to earn his slot in the final.

At the TUF: Team Ortiz vs. Team Shamrock Finale in Las Vegas, Nevada, Bisping comfortably beat Josh Haynes to win the show and secure a UFC contract.

#OnThisDay in 2006... @Bisping made his UFC debut as he won #TUF3. https://t.co/xYOrg1h0jd

Michael Bisping winning TUF was a huge breakthrough for the mixed martial arts scene in the United Kingdom. Not only did he win the show, he undoubtedly inspired many to pursue the sport knowing that they could end up on the biggest stage for MMA in the world, the UFC.

Watch the highlights from Michael Bisping's run on The Ultimate Fighter below:

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#4. Michael Bisping fights one of the GOATs, Georges St-Pierre, at UFC 217

11 years after winning The Ultimate Fighter, Michael Bisping was the undisputed UFC middleweight champion. In retrospect, the fact that he became the champion in the first place is an unbelievable feat. After repeatedly lying to athletic commissions and doctors about his eye injury, Bisping managed to do the unthinkable and win UFC gold.

In his second title defense, he took on one of the greatest fighters of all time, Georges St-Pierre. St-Pierre was the UFC welterweight champion between 2008 and 2013. He vacated his belt following his ninth title defense and took a four-year hiatus from the sport. In his highly anticipated return to the octagon, he looked to become a two-division champion as he challenged Bisping, the then-middleweight champ, in 2017.

Bisping had numerous medical issues going into the bout with St-Pierre. In addition to having only one functioning eye, he was still recovering from a knee surgery that ruled him out of a bout against Yoel Romero. It was later revealed that he also had damaged ribs going into his showdown with 'Rush'. Nevertheless, he put on a strong front throughout the fight week leading up to their clash at UFC 217.

Watch Michael Bisping discuss his bout with Georges St-Pierre below:

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The fight that ensued turned out to be one of the hardest of Georges St-Pierre's professional career. Despite securing a takedown during the fight, the Canadian icon arguably came out worse from those early exchanges on the ground as Michael Bisping was incredibly active from the bottom position. 'The Count' landed numerous elbows, opening up a few deep cuts on the challenger's face.

Towards the end of the third round of a highly competitive fight, St-Pierre managed to secure another takedown and proceeded to sink in a rear-naked choke to win the 185 pound strap. In his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, the former two-division champion heaped praise on his English counterpart. Commending Bisping, 'Rush' said:

"Michael is, man... He's the toughest guy I've fought. This man is amazing. I'm a fighter but I've been a fan of this man. He's a true example of hard work and perseverance in the sport. So Michael, all my repsect to you, man!"

Watch Michael Bisping and Georges St-Pierre's post-fight interviews below:

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#3. Michael Bisping defeats Anderson Silva in London at UFC Fight Night 84

Before Michael Bisping ever tasted UFC gold, he found himself in a merciless cycle of beating numerous high-level fighters but falling short in No.1 contender's fights. The cycle repeated itself four times as 'The Count' dropped the ball every time he needed just one more win to secure a title shot.

His KO loss to Dan Henderson in 2009, the razor-close decision loss to Chael Sonnen in 2012 and the defeats to Tim Kennedy and Luke Rockhold in 2014 led many to believe that he would never get a championship opportunity. Moreover, as he got older, with all the medical issues he was dealing with, it appeared as though the UFC championship wasn't his destiny.

After his loss to Kennedy, Bisping picked up back-to-back wins over C.B. Dollaway and Thailes Leites to put himself back in the mix atop the 185 pound division. In his next bout, he was booked to take on former middleweight champion and arguably the greatest 185 pound fighter of all time, Anderson Silva. The duo locked horns in a five-round main event clash in London in 2016.

SILVA vs BISPING!!! Tomorrow LIVE on @UFCFightPass! https://t.co/hQxBSIdTJb

Michael Bisping looked on point throughout the opening two rounds. His volume and activity seemed to be too much for Anderson Silva in the first 10 minutes. 'The Count' went on to overwhelm Silva with his relentless pressure in the third round as well, until the final 10 seconds. Bisping's mouthguard fell out after one of the striking exchanges and he unwisely pointed at the referee to take notice, taking his eyes off 'The Spider'.

Silva launched a powerful flying knee on Bisping which saw the Englishman crash down to the canvas. The thunderous strike opened up a huge cut and blood was pouring profusely out of it. The former champ thought he had knocked out his British counterpart and subsequently climbed on to the cage wall to celebrate. It seemed as though this was the final nail in the coffin that housed Bisping's championship aspirations.

However, referee Herb Dean didn't call a halt to the action. Rather, the clock ran out and Dean told Michael Bisping that the fight wasn't over, just the round. 'The Count' gathered himself and returned to his corner as Anderson Silva was asked to stop celebrating.

Bisping went on to carry his incredible pressure from the first few rounds into the fourth and fifth. In front of a raucous English crowd, he was awarded a unanimous decision victory on the night, putting him in prime position for a shot at middleweight gold.

Watch the full Michael Bisping vs. Anderson Silva fight below:

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#2. Michael Bisping defends his belt against Dan Henderson in Manchester at UFC 204

Following the win over Anderson Silva in London, Michael Bisping went on to win the UFC middleweight belt. In his first title defense, he took on former foe Dan Henderson in a rematch.

As discussed in the previous entry, Bisping succumbed to a devastating KO loss to Henderson back in 2009 at UFC 100. That knockout remains one of the most memorable KOs in UFC history. 'The Count' looked to avenge that loss when he welcomed the MMA veteran to Manchester at UFC 204.

UFC 204: Michael Bisping vs. Dan Henderson Weigh in Face off - mmacrazytv.com/2016/10/08/ufc… https://t.co/HJvpKBiyaN

The middleweight duo put on an enthralling bout which ended up winning 'Fight of the Night' honors. Michael Bisping struggled with the power of Dan Henderson in the first two rounds, despite outstriking him in almost every exchange. 'The Count' got knocked down twice in the opening 10 minutes and seemingly had a mountain to climb thereafter.

Bisping's renowned heart and grit shone through in the next three rounds. The Englishman found his distance and rhythm after a tumultuous start to the fight and subsequently picked apart Henderson all the way till the end of the fifth. He came away with a unanimous decision win, much to the delight of the Manchester crowd in attendance.

AND STILL!Michael Bisping retains UFC middleweight title, defeating Dan Henderson by decision. https://t.co/C8edx5Bfvh

Watch Michael Bisping discuss his rematch with Dan Henderson below:

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The win over Dan Henderson turned out to be the last win of Michael Bisping's storied career. His next bout would be his loss to Georges St-Pierre in 2017, which ultimately turned out to be the penultimate fight of his run in the UFC. His last appearance inside the octagon came in a short-notice matchup against Kelvin Gastelum, following which he finally hung up his gloves.

He was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame two years after retiring.

Congrats, @bisping πŸ‘Šβˆ™ Second most wins in UFC history (20)βˆ™ Former middleweight championβˆ™ Pioneer of UK MMAThe Count enters the UFC Hall of Fame πŸ‘ https://t.co/sZhuxbsmn8

#1. Michael Bisping beats Luke Rockhold to win the belt at UFC 199

While the rematch against Dan Henderson likely felt good, Michael Bisping's second outing against Luke Rockhold was undoubtedly much sweeter. Bisping and Rockhold squared off for the first time in 2014 in the main event of a UFC Fight Night in Sydney, Australia.

On that occasion, Luke Rockhold secured a fairly comfortable submission victory. He would go on to dominate Lyoto Machida to earn a shot at the middleweight championship. In 2015, Rockhold took on then-titleholder Chris Weidman in the co-main event of UFC 194, where he claimed a TKO win to become the new champion at 185 pounds.

Rockhold was slated to take on Weidman in a rematch later that year and the duo were expected to run it back at UFC 199. However, the challenger picked up a leg injury just two weeks before the bout, leaving the champion without an opponent. Ronaldo 'Jacare' Souza was initially rumored to be stepping in on short notice. It was later revealed that the new challenger would be Michael Bisping instead.

The incredible circumstances behind Bisping finally getting a title shot are, in many ways, typical of his career. After going through a murderers' row of challengers, ending up on the wrong end of numerous judges' decisions and seemingly never backing down, he was given a championship opportunity on 14 days' notice against a fighter he'd already lost to.

Watch Michael Bisping discuss the circumstances surrounding his title-winning performance with Joe Rogan below:

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Considering their history and clear clash of personalities, the fight week leading up to their championship bout was incredibly entertaining. Luke Rockhold's somewhat smug demenour was repeatedly ridiculed by Michael Bisping, who mocked the champion's overconfidence heading into the bout.

In what turned out to be one of the quickest and easiest fights of his professional career, Bisping knocked Rockhold out in the very first round. 'The Count' connected with a perfectly placed left hook that dropped the champ and he landed another heavy blow seconds later to effectively finish the fight.

#OnThisDay in 2016, @Bisping did all of Manchester proud and stopped Luke Rockhold on 17 days notice.He was 6/1 to win that day which ranks as the 3rd biggest upset in UFC title fight history... πŸ‘‹πŸ…πŸ“Ή @UFCEurope https://t.co/5wGnIgvMuw

After multiple title runs, constant medical issues and perhaps the toughest road to UFC gold in the history of the promotion, Michael Bisping became an undisputed world champion.

His standing as a legend of the sport has been further solidified in recent times as shocking details about the obstacles he overcame en route to fulfilling his destiny have been revealed. Without a doubt, 'The Count' will go down as one of the best to ever do it.

Watch Michael Bisping's crowning moment below:

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Edited by John Cunningham
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