Michael Bisping will take sole possession of the record for most UFC fights at UFC 217. The historic trip to the octagon could also be his last.
Retirement is not a foreign topic to Bisping (30-7 MMA, 20-7 UFC), who is scheduled to put his UFC middleweight title on the line against Georges St-Pierre (25-2 MMA, 19-2 UFC) in the Nov. 4 headliner at Madison Square Garden in New York. “The Count” has broached the subject in the past, but it appears he’s more serious now than ever.
Bisping, 38, today appeared on “The MMA Hour” and casually revealed the clash with St-Pierre could be his final fight – win or lose.
“This might be my last-ever fight,” Bisping said. “I don’t know if I’ll fight again after this. What a way to go out if it is. … I don’t know (if I’ll retire). Maybe, there’s a possibility. This may be my last fight. So if everyone wants to see Michael Bisping get knocked out, this is your last chance to do it, guys.”
Bisping made his UFC debut in December 2006 after winning Season 3 of “The Ultimate Fighter.” In that time he’s racked up numerous records. He is tied for the most fights in UFC history (27) and is the record-holder in prestigious categories such as wins (20) and significant strikes landed (1,533).
It’s been a long career for Bisping in which he’s endured many highs and some painful lows. He said his passion for competition hasn’t faded, but given his accomplishments, financial success and growing opportunities outside of fighting, he said the option of retirement is growing increasingly more attractive.
“I’ve done it for so long now,” Bisping said. “There’s other things to do in life. I still love this, don’t get me wrong. You can’t do it forever. Georges should have stayed retired. Georges should have retired as the champion. I’m going to beat Georges, and I’ll retire as the champion – maybe. I haven’t made my mind up on that yet. It depends. If there’s enough money involved, maybe I’ll stick around. I don’t know.
“I’ve got a lot of things going on outside the octagon, and I’m very lucky in that regard. I love fighting. I’ll keep fighting until I’m 50 years old. But, if you truly want a legacy, I say win the belt, defend it a few times and then retire as champion. There’s no better way to go out than that.”
Although part of Bisping is thinking about a dream exit from the sport, he said he’s not looking past St-Pierre. He wants to show the former long-time welterweight champion that he made a grave error deciding to end his four-year retirement against him.
Bisping said he’s not ready to make any bold or final decisions about his future beyond UFC 217. However, he admits the outside noise from those closest to him is difficult to ignore.
“My family wants me to retire, my wife wants me to retire,” Bisping said. “There’s a lot of people saying, ‘Mike, you should retire.’ My manger says it. Everyone says I should retire as champion. I’ve made some money along the way, I’ve had a great career, I’ve represented my country. I’ve received more through mixed martial arts than I ever could have dreamed of. But you can’t go on forever. You ave to know when the time is right. I’m not saying the time is right, but I am contemplating. We’ll see.”view original article >>
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