UFC middleweight Michael Bisping has avoided a potentially career-ending injury and is eager to get back in the cage next year.
Bisping (24-5 MMA, 14-5 UFC) has been sidelined for several months after suffering a detached retina in his right eye during training.
With surgery required, there was fear the injury would prevent “The Count”from ever fighting again, but Bisping said those fears have subsided now that doctors have cleared him to resume training for his next bout.
“I’ve been cleared to fight,” Bisping told MMAjunkie Radio. “Things are going great. The eye is doing great. I mean obviously it’s not 100 percent just yet, but I saw the doctor last week, and he said to call Dana White and the UFC to talk to them about booking a fight.”
“The Ultimate Fighter 3? winner has not seen action since UFC 159 in April, when he picked up a technical decision win over Alan Belcher. The victory put Bisping back on track after a knockout loss to Vitor Belfort earlier this year briefly derailed his title hopes.
While Bisping is jubilant over the news he’ll have the opportunity to compete again, the unfortunate news is that permanent damage to his eye could not be avoided.
“My eye is never going to be quite as it was,” Bisping said. “But that’s just something I’ve got to deal with.”
The full extent of the lasting effects won’t be known immediately, but Bisping is keeping a positive attitude.
As of now, one of the UFC’s most outspoken figures is just focusing on getting his health in order so he can return to doing what he does best.
While a potential opponent for Bisping’s return hasn’t been determined, he’s open to doing battle with anyone who doesn’t have a fight lined up in the first quarter of 2014.
“Hopefully March, April I’ll be back in there,” Bisping said. “The good news is I’ll be back in there.”
For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.