UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping is the winningest fighter in the promotion’s history.
While Bisping spent years constantly ebbing and flowing out of title contention, he not-so-quietly amassed 20 victories in the Octagon. Over the course of those 20 victories, accompanied by seven losses, he has notched several other accomplishments.
Bisping is tied, at 27, for most trips to the Octagon. He won the third season of The Ultimate Fighter reality show. He’s won numerous Fight of the Night and Performance of the Night bonuses. He became the first Brit to headline a UFC, and when he finally won the middleweight championship in June, he became the first British fighter to become a UFC champion.
Despite finally winning the championship that he chased for so many years, Bisping doesn’t rate that accomplishment at the top of his career highlights. In fact, winning the championship sits at third on his list.
So maybe it would be his historic victory over Anderson Silva, a fighter he long admired and wanted to fight for years, that tops the list?
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Nope. Bisping was extremely proud of getting the better of Silva, particularly on British soil in London, but that victory notches as the second best highlight of his career thus far.
Not surprisingly then is his recent victory over Dan Henderson at UFC 204 that reigns over his career achievements, and that has to do as much with the circumstances as it does with the actual victory.
“Winning the belt was fantastic, it really was. But to do it in Manchester, winning the belt again, defending the belt, that tops it, that was the highlight of my career,” Bisping said on a recent edition of The MMA Hour. “Prior to that, (it was) probably beating Anderson in London. Yeah, for sure, that was the highlight.”
His recent win over Henderson had many factors that made the fight special. For one, he had lost, and lost badly, to Henderson at UFC 100 in July of 2009. Henderson dropped him with his patented H-Bomb and added insult to injury by hammering down another right hand after Bisping was flat on his back. Getting that one back was obviously cause for celebration.
Couple that with the idea that he defeated Henderson in the first defense of the middleweight championship. Not only that, but he did so in his hometown of Manchester, England, and at five o’clock in the morning local time in order to satisfy the UFC’s North American pay-per-view stronghold.
The circumstances were certainly memorable.
“The fight happened at 5 a.m. and the energy that everybody in attendance showed, it was absolutely amazing. The crowd was absolutely deafening,” Bisping recounted. “It was absolutely incredible. Thank you Henderson, it was a great fight. Yeah, a legendary night for me.”