Michael Bisping has confirmed that the UFC have offered him a fight on the UFC London card in March. Speaking on his podcast, “Believe You Me” he explained that the UFC offered him the bout some time ago but he has stalled on making a decision due to his family and friends encouraging him to retire and not risk another fight.
“There’s a fight in the works for myself, and I’ve got until the end of the day to tell the UFC whether I’m taking it. There’s an offer that’s been made to me, and all fairness to the UFC, I’ve been kind of taking my time to give them an answer so I’ve got until the end of the day to give them an answer.
“I’m just debating whether I take the fight. For me, whether or not those people can see, I have a bad eye. I have a bad eye and my wife doesn’t want me to continue fighting, and my manager doesn’t want me to continue fighting. I see out of that eye but not as well as I used to, and I’m still a young man so it’s kind of the reason I may hang the gloves up. My wife and manager and friends and people close to me say, ‘Mike, what do you want to do that for? You’ve done it. You’ve had the belt.’ I’ve done it. I’ve done what I set out to do.
“I kind of want to go do one last fight in England and they’re like, ‘So what? Five years from now or a year from now, people are gonna forget about all that and you can injure yourself even more.’ but you can injure yourself in any fight, whether or not you’re at 100% health or not. So that’s what we’re up to and I don’t know.”
Bisping is the most successful British fighter the UFC has ever seen but has found himself on a 2 fight losing streak after dropping the UFC middleweight title to Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217 and following that up with a KO loss just six weeks later to resurgent middleweight Kelvin Gastelum in China.
Bisping has a number of reasons to want to take the fight he has been offered, not least wanting to go out on a high after two disappointing losses. Bisping said;
“There’s the payday. I’ve got some lawsuit bullsh*t that’s still going on. I don’t know if you’re aware of this but lawyers are very expensive. Also, one doesn’t want to go out on my last fight, that being the lasting impression on my MMA career. Also, I kind of feel that I owe it to the U.K. fans because they were so supportive throughout my career. I always envisioned in my mind having that retirement fight in London and there it is on a plate. I just need to take it but everyone around me is telling me not to.”
After a highly publicised attempt by Vitor Belfort to secure a fight with Bisping in what would be a retirement fight for both men, The Count made it clear that he has no intention of sailing off into the sunset by sharing the octagon once again with the man who caused lasting damage to his eye. It would seem that the fight which has been offered is one which does hold some interest for the former champ;
“I like the fight, it’s not a case of the time or the opponent or anything like that. It’s either am I going to continue fighting or am I not? I promised my wife a long time ago that I was done fighting, promised a ton of people, but I still seem to be slogging on and doing it. Maybe we’ll have an announcement tomorrow, maybe we won’t.”
While there has been no further announcement on a potential opponent or on Bisping saying yes or no to the fight, the UFC London card is filling up with intriguing match ups featuring a variety of British talent. With tickets going on sale soon, we can be sure that we will hear something in the very near future.