- Full name Michael Gavin Joseph Bisping
- Nickname The Count
- Birth date February 28, 1979
- Current age 35 years 334 days
- Height 6 ft 2 in
- Weight 185 lb
Michael Bisping will always be regarded as a pioneer for Mixed Martial Arts in Great Britain, after he became the icon through which the UFC captured the attention of a nation.
Bisping was by no means the first Englishman to don the MMA mitts, but he was the first to make serious waves in the UFC, clinching his breakthrough by winning series three of The Ultimate Fighter reality series. Having spent months in a house full of fighters, Bisping emerged from a group of eight light-heavyweights to beat Josh Haynes in the finale - securing a $100,000 contract with the UFC.
Employing a mixture of good boxing and relentless ground-and-pound, Bisping quickly chalked up three wins to set up a clash with Rashad Evans, who would later go on to win the UFC light-heavyweight title. Bisping came as close as anybody had done to beating Evans, losing by split decision, and the defeat prompted the Wolfslair fighter to drop down to his more natural weight of 185lbs.
Now the bigger man in his weight class, Bisping racked up another three victories, beating Chris Leben in front of his home fans to move within one win of a first ever British title shot.
However, Bisping's road to champion Anderson Silva was blocked by former Pride champion Dan Henderson. The pair became rival coaches on season nine of The Ultimate Fighter as Bisping's career went full circle, and the Brit became increasingly confident as his Team UK won both finals against Team USA. Henderson had the last laugh when the duo finally stepped inside the Octagon though, delivering a spectacular knockout at UFC 100 with a thunderous right hook.
Bisping's career and confidence were temporarily shot to pieces, but he came through an early knockdown in his return fight against Denis Kang to signal a rebirth of the old Michael Bisping, ground-and-pounding Kang into a second-round stoppage before taking the legendary Wanderlei Silva to a tight decision at UFC 110. Impressive victories over Dan Miller, Yoshihiro Akiyama, Jorge Rivera and Jason Miller followed, taking Bisping as close to a title shot as he has ever been.
He then truly earned plaudits by taking widely regarded No. 2 middleweight Chael Sonnen to the wire at UFC on Fox 2, and Bisping has since added to his title credentials with a dominant win over Brian Stann. However, another rebuilding job is necessary after he lost to Vitor Belfort when a title shot beckoned.
It seems strange to label a defeat the high of a fighter's career, but Bisping's loss to Sonnen was the day he truly silenced his many critics. The Brit believes he won the fight, Dana White believes Bisping won, and even Sonnen was relieved to get the decision.
Getting knocked unconscious by Dan Henderson at UFC 100. Bisping had promised to be the first man to knock Henderson out, but the reality was very different.
"I'm a different animal when I'm p****d off, when I'm in a bad mood, I'm unstoppable, I can do whatever I want, seriously."
Michael Bisping was voted "2009 Coolest Man in the UK" by readers of Zoo magazine, beating Daniel Craig and Noel Gallagher.
- Bisping sidelined by detached retina (Jun 5, 2013)
- Bisping & Le open to matchup (May 31, 2013)
- Rockhold calls out Bisping on Twitter (May 29, 2013)
- Franklin wants Bisping before retiring (May 7, 2013)
Bisping a cut above on weird night at UFC 159 (Apr 28, 2013)