Michael Bisping entertained UFC fans for more than 12 years before retiring from mixed martial arts in 2018 and the garrulous Brit has earned a spot in the Hall of Fame.
The UFC announced the former middleweight champion as the first inductee for the class of 2019 on Saturday.
“It’s hard to have the level of talent needed to compete in UFC for any amount of time, but Michael Bisping was able to have an 11-year career where he became a world champion and won The Ultimate Fighter, not many people can say that,” UFC president Dana White said in a press release. “He also came back and coached The Ultimate Fighter and is now one of the best analysts on our broadcast team. Michael has been a huge part of not only building our brand, but also the sport of mixed martial arts. He absolutely deserves to be in the UFC Hall of Fame. Congratulations.”
The Cinderella story is complete!
— UFC (@ufc) March 16, 2019
Bisping, now 40, made his Octagon debut as a light-heavyweight in 2006 before dropping to the middleweight division in 2009. The fighting pride of Manchester, England earned notable wins over MMA legends Anderson Silva and Dan Henderson plus former champions from defunct promotions like Cung Le (Strikeforce) and Brian Stann (WEC).
The biggest win of Bisping’s career occurred when he claimed the 185-pound title at UFC 199 in June of 2016 after taking a short-notice fight with then-champ Luke Rockhold. His lone title defence came against Henderson and that win avenged the most notable loss of his career.
Although Bisping went out on a losing skid – getting choked unconscious by Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217 then knocked unconscious three weeks later by Kelvin Gastelum – there’s no denying Bisping’s career was one of the most impressive in UFC history.
The UFC passed along this list of notable Bisping accomplishments that shows why there’s no controversy surrounding his induction:
— His 16 wins as a UFC middleweight is most in UFC history
— His 20 total wins is tied for second in UFC history
— His 29 total fights is tied for third most in UFC history
— His 5:15:15 of time inside the Octagon is the most by a middleweight in UFC history
— His 1,384 significant strikes as a middleweight is most in the history of the 185-pound division
— His 1,567 total significant strikes is second in UFC history
— He is one of eight TUF winners to become an undisputed UFC champion
— He is the only athlete in UFC history to win a season of The Ultimate Fighter and become a UFC champion that also successfully defended their title
— He is one of four UFC athletes to land 100 or more significant strikes in five different fights
— He headlined UFC events in seven different countries which is most in UFC history
— BJ Penn (@bjpenndotcom) March 16, 2019