Michael Bisping knows very fighters retire on their own terms.
As it stands in mixed martial arts, most of the legends of the sport have either refused to actually say they are retired or somehow they keep getting drawn back to the sport no matter how many years they spend away from the cage.
Former UFC champion Chuck Liddell is currently pursuing a fight at 48 years of age after last fighting in 2010.
UFC Hall of Famers Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock fought as recently as 2016 with a combined age of 101 when they stepped into the cage together.
Bisping never wanted to be that guy who can’t walk away from the sport but even he admits if it wasn’t for the career he set up for himself outside of the Octagon than he might have already booked his next fight.
“If it wasn’t for that, I don’t think I would have [retired],” Bisping told MMAWeekly about his work outside of fighting. “Even though the injuries and all the rest of it, I probably would have hung around and tried to get a few more paydays. But with all these other things going on, 100-percent I don’t need to do this anymore.
“I’m forever grateful for the experiences, the UFC, and everything. But the time was right. So much going on. Greener pastures.”
Right now, Bisping has started commentating on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series while receiving rave reviews for his work. Bisping has also taken an ownership stake in several startups not to mention his involvement in the expansion of dozens of UFC Gym franchises around California and his home country of England.
At the top of the list of Bisping’s endeavors is his new career in acting where he’s already been incredibly busy even while fighting in the UFC. Bisping landing a role in the film “xXx: The Return of Xander Cage” as well as television roles in “Strike Back”, “MacGuyver” and the “Twin Peaks” revival on Showtime.
From the sound of things, that’s where Bisping plans on devoting most of his time now that fighting is finished.
“That is my primary focus. I’ve got all this other stuff. The acting is where my primary focus is,” Bisping said. “I’ve got a lot of passion for it. I’ve got a great agent, a lot of stuff bubbling, a lot of things going on. He’s been on me for a while ‘Mike, you need to retire so you can focus on this properly’. Now that wasn’t the reason [I retired]. The reason was because the time was right for me to move away.
“But now I can focus on that 100-percent. Let’s see what we can do. Let’s shoot for the stars.”
Perhaps the best part about the timing of Bisping’s retirement is that he’s completely satisfied with everything he accomplished in his career and leaves the sport with no regrets.
“I fought all over the world. I had the most wins, had the most fights, had the most significant strikes, won the belt, made some money. I mean what’s the point in carrying on?” Bisping said. “At some point you’ve got to stop. Could I have gone out and won some more fights? 100-percent I could. I still feel the same way I do and always have done.
“100-percent I could have won more fights but I need to focus now on the next chapter of my life.”