Michael Bisping has called it a career.
On Monday, the former UFC middleweight champion officially announced his retirement from fighting after teasing the end of his career for the past few months.
Bisping finally decided to hang up the gloves while making the announcement on his “Believe You Me” podcast.
“So obviously I’ve teased this for a long time now, I might fight again, I might not. And unfortunately it’s not a fight that I’m announcing. I am going to announce my official retirement from mixed martial arts,” Bisping said.
“It’s been a long journey. I started in 2003, I started training so 15 years as a professional fighter. 12 or 13 years in the UFC. You can’t do it forever.”
According to Bisping, it was a health scare that eventually led to his ultimate decision to retire from the sport.
Bisping has experienced severe eye problems ever since suffering a knockout loss to Vitor Belfort back in 2013. Bisping was eventually diagnosed with a detached retina that required surgery and kept him out of action for a year.
While the eye problems could have potentially ended his career, Bisping not only continued fighting but he kept climbing the ranks until he became middleweight champion in 2016.
His reign came to an end last year and then Bisping suffered a knockout loss to Kelvin Gastelum a few weeks later. Following the end of the fight, Bisping was out at a post event party when he suddenly started seeing flashes of light out of the corner of his left eye.
“I realized there’s no flash going on, it’s just my eye, and every time I look left, it just flashes. And it still does it now when it’s dark,” Bisping said. “It’s light now so I can’t see it. So I started freaking out, thinking oh my God, I don’t believe this, I’ve got a detached retina in my good eye. I have problems with my bad eye, it doesn’t look good, so obviously I was kind of freaking out.”
Bisping was eventually diagnosed with a vitreous detachment — a common condition in eyes as people grow older but it could eventually result in another detached retina and that was enough to let the 39-year old veteran know that it wasn’t worth risking his eyesight by taking another fight.
Bisping retires with a 30-9 record overall including his reign as middleweight champion that included one defense in 2016. Bisping also holds several UFC records including the most wins in the history of the promotion as well as the most fights in the history of the company.