Michael Bisping never wanted to campaign for a spot in the UFC Hall of Fame.
In fact just days after he announced his retirement from mixed martial arts, the former UFC middleweight champion said rather adamantly that he would never utter a word about his desire to go into the Hall of Fame because it just wasn’t becoming of a professional fighter.
“For sure, it’s not something I’m campaigning for or anything like that. That’s not something you campaign for, it’s embarrassing if you do that. That’s up to the UFC,” Bisping told MMAWeekly last year when asked about going into the Hall of Fame.
“I’d like to think so. I’d like to think I put the work in. I think I deserve it but that’s down to the UFC so we’ll see.”
This past weekend at UFC Fight Night from London, Bisping was officially announced as the first inductee in the 2019 class for the UFC Hall of Fame.
The UFC showed a highlight video featuring some of Bisping’s best moments inside the cage as well as interviews with fighters and even a few moments with his wife Rebecca speaking about him.
A few days later, Bisping now reveals that he had no clue that video was about to play much less that he was going into the UFC Hall of Fame. According to Bisping, the UFC kept the entire tribute a secret and prompted him to go out to sit in the crowd so they could get a reaction shot to show him on television.
“They start playing this piece. I’m like wow I’m getting a tribute video this is incredible and then any time [my wife] Rebecca or the children come on the screen, that’s when I get really emotional,” Bisping said on his “Believe You Me” podcast. “So I’m there, I’m a one-eyed bastard so I don’t see very well at the best of times. Maybe a little tear in my eye.
“So I couldn’t really see what it said on the big screen but I saw something about ‘Hall of Fame’ and I thought wow I’m nominated for the Hall of Fame. Everybody in the O2 arena got on their feet, I got a standing ovation by 20,000 people. It was pretty incredible.”
Even then Bisping still didn’t know he was actually going into the UFC Hall of Fame until a staff member from the promotion finally made him realized what had just happened.
“I get back out of the arena to the backstage part and some guy from the UFC with us is like ‘so how’s it feel?’. I said ‘oh yeah that was amazing’, he said ‘no, the Hall of Fame’ and I’m like what do you mean?” Bisping recounted.
“He said ‘you’re in the Hall of Fame’ and I said ‘oh s—t’ I had no idea. That’s how f—king dumb and Michael Bisping I am, I had no idea.”
Bisping definitely relished the moment and he will now be honored with the rest of the inductees in the UFC Hall of Fame class of 2019 with the ceremony scheduled for July in Las Vegas during International Fight Week.
“I may have watched it a few times and I may have cried a few times,” Bisping said about the tribute video. “I had no idea. Absolutely zero idea that was going to happen.”