Michael Bisping’s career is coming to an end soon.
The UFC middleweight champion has long addressed the possibility that he would be retiring from the sport sooner rather than later with only a couple of fights left before he would walk away from mixed martial arts for good.
There’s a distinct possibility that Bisping may even wrap up his career in November after he faces Georges St-Pierre in the main event at UFC 217 in New York, which would serve as his second straight title defense while also facing off with a future Hall of Fame fighter.
That’s part of the reason why those closest to Bisping have advised him to think about retirement in the immediate aftermath of a win because he would finish his career in a historic venue with a victory over arguably one of the greatest fighters of all time.
“My manager says I should retire, he says this should be your last fight. He said there’s no better way and he’s right, there’s no better way than in Madison Square Garden, defending the title, beating a legend like Georges St-Pierre then putting the gloves down in the Octagon. That is the dream. That’s what everybody says,” Bisping said on his “Believe You Me” podcast.
It’s hard to argue with the logic.
At 38, Bisping is already in the latter part of his career and he achieved a lifetime goal when he knocked out Luke Rockhold last June to become UFC middleweight champion. Since then, Bisping has avenged arguably the most devastating loss of his career when he defeated Dan Henderson in his first title defense and now he has the opportunity to headline the biggest UFC card of 2017 against St-Pierre.
It all seems like a perfect way to wrap a bow on his career, but Bisping says there is one more event that could potentially lure him back to the Octagon for another fight.
“I’m kind of torn. I’m going to retire soon and it’s either going to be the GSP fight or….and me and my wife kind of agrees…I want my last fight to be in Manchester [England],” Bisping said. “So there’s a possibility this is going to be my last one or my last one will be my next one against Robert Whittaker in Manchester.”
Whittaker is the current UFC interim middleweight champion after he defeated Yoel Romero in July but then was unable to compete for the remainder of 2017 after suffering a knee injury.
Bisping has talked in the past about retiring in the cage after fighting in his home country of England, but as of now he still hasn’t made up his mind.
The biggest factor for Bisping is being able to go out on top, which is not very common at all when it comes to fighters leaving the sport of MMA.
Even in the situation of his upcoming opponent at UFC 217, Bisping wonders why St-Pierre would return after he left the sport in 2013 as a nine-time defending welterweight champion and now he’s coming back with a chance to tarnish his legacy with a loss in their fight.
“You can’t do it forever and you’ve got to know when to walk away,” Bisping said. “Georges St-Pierre did. He’s the only person to ever do it, he retired as a champion and he should have stayed retired as a champion because he’s coming out of retirement and he’s fighting me. He’s going to lose that fight, I’m assuming he’s going to lose, I’m hoping he’s going to lose but he’s going to lose that fight and that’s going to tarnish his legacy.
“What better way to do it than become the champion and retire as champion. I have a lot of things going on outside the Octagon. Of course health is an issue. I’m also young enough to do other things in my life. I’ve enjoyed being a fighter and I still enjoy being a fighter and I’m truly grateful for all the benefits it’s brought me.”