Michael Bisping isn’t setting his retirement in stone, but he does have a plan for it going forward.
UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping isn’t a young man. At 38, with 11 years and 27 fights in the UFC under his belt, it’s natural that he would be looking down the road at hanging up the gloves. And on a recent edition of his podcast Believe You Me, he discussed his current plan for that.
That setup will likely involve a title defense against the winner of the Yoel Romero vs. Robert Whittaker 185-pound interim title in July, and he offered up his opinion on the outcome of that bout while explaining his MMA exit strategy:
“I am very, very hungry to compete. It’s been a while now for me. It’s June so it’s been seven months since I’ve fought. For me, that’s a long time. Throughout my career, I’ve always been very busy and I’m getting that itch. I really am. I want to get in there. I want to fight. We talk every week about people who talk shit about me running and that type of stuff.
“The fact of the matter is that I’ll be back in there pretty soon hopefully. By the end of the year, I will fight. That’s a guaranteed fact. It’s been a while and I am getting that itch.
“I don’t know what my next fight is going to be. Unfortunately, it’s probably not going to be GSP.
“It’s probably going to be the winner of Whittaker vs. Romero. I don’t know where that fight’s going to be, but I see myself winning that fight because I see Whittaker winning that fight and I see myself beating Whittaker. If Romero wins, I see myself beating him as well but I firmly believe it will be Robert Whittaker.
“Win or lose that fight, I’ll probably have one more. And I want that to be in London or Manchester, in the UK. I want it to be in England. I want to have my last fight and say farewell to the fans who, in England, have treated me so well. They really have. The MMA fans out there really embraced me as one of their own and made the difference in my career so I want my last fight to be in England.
“Whether or not I win my next fight, which I plan on winning and believe I will, then I want to have one last fight in England, hopefully defending my belt for the third time and then I’ll probably call it a day. That isn’t set in stone but, in my mind, that’s where my head’s at.”
Bisping had been scheduled to face off with the returning Georges St-Pierre, but injuries to both men delayed that fight too long and it was called off. Bisping is currently rehabbing his injury and, as he stated, is looking to return before the end of the year.