Bisping's achievements in the Octagon were recognised by UFC, who announced that Michael Bisping will be headlining the UFC Hall of Fame Class of 2019 this Summer. The induction ceremony is set to take place in July of this year.
Dana White released a statement, where he praised Bisping and talked about how he deserved his place in the Hall of Fame for his contribution to Mixed Martial Arts.
“It’s hard to have the level of talent needed to compete in UFC for any amount of time, but Michael Bisping was able to have an 11-year career where he became a world champion and won The Ultimate Fighter, not many people can say that. He also came back and coached The Ultimate Fighter and is now one of the best analysts on our broadcast team. Michael has been a huge part of not only building our brand, but also the sport of mixed martial arts. He absolutely deserves to be in the UFC Hall of Fame. Congratulations.” - Dana White
The former fighter retired late last year in December of 2018. Bisping was the first-ever British UFC Champion when he won the Middleweight Championship in 2016.
The UFC fighter is especially considered to be one of the best to enter the Octagon, for fighting in the last few years of his career while he could hardly see anything out of his right eye. The injury had come during Michael Bisping and Vitor Belfort's fight, where Belfort hit Bisping with a vicious left high kick which damaged his retina.
Bisping has had a long and celebrated career in the UFC. Here are 5 fights which epitomize his career.
#5 Michael Bisping vs Jorge Rivera - UFC 127
Michael Bisping's UFC 127 fight against Jorge Rivera is not one that people think of when mentioning Bisping's best fights. It had no noticeable effect on his career trajectory.
However, this fight is on this list for a reason. When Michael Bisping faced Jorge Rivera, it was an extremely personal fight. There was rage and there was a reason for this fight.
In the lead up to the fight, Jorge Rivera had made the mistake of uploading videos on YouTube where he mocked Michael Bisping and went so far as to insult his family. When the two met in the co-main event of UFC 127, it was all about Bisping. He dominated the fight and made Rivera regret.
There was a point deducted for an accidental illegal knee, but that did not matter. At 1 minute and 54 seconds of the 2nd round, the fight came to an end via TKO, as Bisping got the win over Rivera.
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#4 Michael Bisping vs Josh Haynes - The Ultimate Fighter: Team Ortiz vs Team Shamrock Finale
Of all his fights, Michael Bisping's fight against Josh Haynes will always be very memorable. He entered the Third Ultimate Fighter Tournament training under Tito Ortiz in 2006. He won his semi-final and preliminary fights with the help of a Submission and TKO respectively, before making his way into the final of the tournament.
He had made history participating in that tournament alongside fellow Britisher Ross Pointon as the two first-ever non-North America residents to compete in The Ultimate Fighter. He had the chance to make an impact for himself and Britain by winning the fight, and that's exactly what he did in the final fight.
The referee stopped the fight at 4 minutes and 14 seconds of the second round.
While, since then Bisping has won several huge fights, if it were not for the impact he made on his debut, things might have been very different for him later on.
#3 Michael Bisping vs Anderson Silva - UFC Fight Night: Silva vs Bisping
Michael Bisping had long been outspoken about his desire to fight 'The Spider' Anderson Silva in the Octagon. His wish came true in February of 2016 when he faced Anderson Silva as the Headliner of UFC Fight Night 84.
However, the fight had an additional component attached to it. If he won the fight, he would almost certainly get a shot at the UFC Middleweight Title.
Throughout his career, Michael Bisping had defeated a number of top fighters including the likes of Chris Leben, Yoshihiro Akiyama, Brian Stann and Thales Leites to name but a few. However, he had never been able to cross the final hurdle and qualify for a Championship fight.
In an extremely controversial fight, where Bisping won the 1st and 2nd round but was almost knocked out in the third round, he was able to defeat Anderson Silva via Unanimous Decision. It had appeared that Silva had indeed beaten Bisping and he had begun his celebrations. However, the UFC fight would continue, and Bisping, though rocky, would dominate.
#2 Michael Bisping vs Luke Rockhold - UFC 199
He was never supposed to be the next person to fight Rockhold. In fact, Rockhold had been expected to face Chris Weidman. An injury to Weidman meant that UFC needed a replacement, and even then they chose 'Jacare' Ronaldo Souza. The choice was hampered one more time, as Souza too, was unable to compete.
This meant that Bisping would face Rockhold, in a fight that would shake up the UFC Middleweight Division. Rockhold had beaten Bisping before, and on top of that the contender only had 17 days to prepare for what was to be the biggest fight of his life up to that point.
That did not matter.
On the day, when he entered the Octagon, he won the UFC Championship he had been coveting his entire career, by knocking out Luke Rockhold in convincing fashion in the very first round.
#1 Michael Bisping vs Dan Henderson - UFC 204
This was Bisping's first-ever defence of the title, and he knew better than to take it lightly. After all, he was familiar with Dan Henderson in the Octagon, having suffered a loss to him previously in his UFC career.
The fight was not something that many thought should have happened. Henderson was 46 at the time and had suffered 3 losses in his last 5 fights. Yoel Romero was a better contender according to many.
Thankfully for Bisping, he was able to prove that in the Octagon, old victories mean nothing.
When he faced down Dan Henderson, it was an excellent fight that went all 5 rounds. During it, Henderson showed that age meant nothing as well, dropping Bisping twice. But it did not matter.
The heart Bisping showed was enormous, and at the end of 5 rounds, he was declared the winner and still UFC Champion. The fight is one of the greatest in his career, and signifies who he was in the Octagon -- a fighter who has as much heart as technique.
This proved to be his last victory, as in the next fight he lost the Championship to Georges St-Pierre. UFC, too, has recognised his heart, and thus has added him to the UFC Hall of Fame. There might not be another fighter as deserving of the honour.