Ultimate Fighter Winner, Champion, and now Hall of Famer Michael Bisping.
At Saturday's UFC London card, the company announced that the 40-year old will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in July. The honor caps off an incredible career.
Bisping began fighting as a pro in 2005, and two years later found himself on The Ultimate Fighter season 3, which he won. While competing as a light heavyweight, he won his first four fights before losing to eventual UFC Champion Rashad Evans via split decision.
The oft-controversial Bisping also coached The Ultimate Fighter, opposite longtime rival Dan Henderson. The season culminated in a high-profile title eliminator bout at UFC 100 that saw Bisping on the wrong end of one of the more famous knockouts of all-time.
Bisping remained in the UFC middleweight title picture, but never quite got his shot due to losses to a number of fighters who had issues with banned or eventually banned substances. That all changed in 2016 when Bisping knocked out champion Luke Rockhold in a short-notice fight to become champion. He would avenge his loss to the aforementioned Henderson in a title rematch a few months later.
Bisping dropped the title to Georges St-Pierre in November 2017, and fought just three weeks later in an ill-advised main event against Kelvin Gastelum. A few months later, he'd call it a career.
The UFC issued the following:
UFC today announced that former UFC middleweight champion and winner of season three of The Ultimate Fighter, Michael Bisping, will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame’s ‘Modern Wing’ as a member of the class of 2019. The 2019 UFC Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, presented by Toyo Tires, will take place on Friday, July 5 in Las Vegas. The event will be streamed live and exclusively on UFC FIGHT PASS.
“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,” UFC President Dana White said. “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.”
Bisping, the first British fighter to become a UFC champion, will enter the UFC Hall of Fame as a member of the Modern Wing, joining Forrest Griffin (2013), BJ Penn (2015), Urijah Faber (2017) and Ronda Rousey (2018). The “Modern Era” category includes athletes who turned pro on or after November 17, 2000 (when the rules of mixed martial arts were adopted), are a minimum age of 35, or have been retired for one year or more.
A veteran of 40 professional fights during his 13-year career, Bisping compiled a record of 31-9, while capturing the UFC middleweight title, as well as the Cage Warriors, and Cage Rage light heavyweight titles. During his impressive career, Bisping earned notable victories over UFC Hall of Famer Dan Henderson, former UFC middleweight champions Anderson Silva and Luke Rockhold, former Strikeforce middleweight champion Cung Le, former WEC light heavyweight champion Brian Stann, and former WEC middleweight champion Chris Leben.
Following impressive stints with Cage Warriors and Cage Rage, Bisping entered the third installment of UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter: Team Ortiz vs. Team Shamrock, with a 10-0 record in 2006. Bisping breezed through his first two fights on the show, dispatching each opponent with first round stoppages, before finishing Josh Hayes via second round TKO to win the light heavyweight tournament. Bisping began his post-TUF career at UFC 66: LIDDELL vs. ORTIZ, on December 30, 2006, defeating Eric Schafer via first-round TKO.
In 2011, Bisping would return to The Ultimate Fighter as a coach for season 14 against Jason Miller, while training featherweights and bantamweights in The Ultimate Fighter: Team Bisping vs. Team Miller. Bisping defeated Miller via TKO in the main event of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Bisping vs. Team Miller Finale.
During his remarkable tenure inside the world-famous Octagon, “The Count”, complete with his trademark entrance music, “Song 2” by Blur, would become a global fan favorite, registering a 20-9 record in UFC, which included capturing the UFC middleweight title by defeating Luke Rockhold at UFC 199: ROCKHOLD vs. BISPING 2 in June 2016. Having lost to Rockhold in 2014, Bisping took the fight as the main event’s second replacement, on 17 days’ notice, winning the contest via strikes in the first round.
Bisping enters the UFC Hall of Fame with an impressive resume that includes:
- 16 wins as a UFC middleweight – most in UFC history
- 20 wins – Tied for 2nd in UFC history
- 29 total fights – Tied for 3rd most in UFC history
- 5:15:15 of time inside the Octagon – most by a middleweight in UFC history
- 1,384 significant strikes as a middleweight – most in the history of the middleweight division
- 1,567 total significant strikes – 2nd in UFC history (Max Holloway – 1,627)
- 1 of 8 TUF winners to become an undisputed UFC champion
- The only UFC athlete in UFC history to win a season of The Ultimate Fighter and become a UFC champion that also successfully defended their title
- 1 of 4 UFC athletes to land 100 or more significant strikes in five different fights (TJ Dillashaw, Max Holloway, Joanna Jedrzejczyk)
- Headlined UFC events in seven different countries – most in UFC history
A native of Manchester, England, Bisping began training jiu-jitsu at the age of eight. At the age of 15, he competed as an amateur in Britain’s first “no holds barred” competition, a precursor to modern MMA. Outside the Octagon, Bisping has become an accomplished combat sports analyst and commentator for UFC, as well as a successful entrepreneur as a stakeholder in UFC GYM – Costa Mesa and UFC UK. He has also excelled as an actor with roles / cameos in Den of Thieves; XXX: Return of Zander Cage; My Name is Lenny; and Triple Threat. He lives with his wife and three children in Orange County, CA.
Bispping sits at 30-9 for his career, not including his two TUF victories.