Michael Bisping may be an actor now, but his past as a mixed martial artist has continued to serve as a source of inspiration and motivation for every aspiring British UFC fighter out there. In 2018, Bisping was the first British fighter to take part in the main UFC event and the only one to win it.
He spent most of his fighting career in the middleweight division of the UFC. He has also won other titles such as the Cage Rage Light Heavyweight Championship and The Ultimate Fighter 3 Championship for the light heavyweight division. Since retiring his fighting gloves, Bisping has appeared in several movies, most notably in 2017 in XXX: Return of Xander Cage (XXX: Return of Xander Cage).
Michael Bisping’s Bio
The former UFC champion was born in a military household and the son of a military father, Jan Bisping. He was born on February 28, 1979, in a military camp in Nicosia, Cyprus. However, he spent his childhood in Clitheroe, Lancashire. Michael attended the Roman Catholic St. Augustine’s High School in Billington.
Before that time, young Michael had already shown interest in the martial arts and had started taking Jujutsu classes at the age of eight. Bisping entered his first “no holds barred” competition as an amateur in 1994. At that time he was just 15 years old.
After he turned 18, Michael became disappointed in the martial arts world and left to pursue real life. However, he returned less than a year later and began taking boxing, kickboxing, and karate classes. The then owner of Black Knights kickboxing, Alan Clarkin, took him under his wing.
Bisping spent a short time as a kickboxer and won the North West Area title and then the Pro British title for the light heavyweight kickboxing division. He won the latter for a second time, after which he returned after a short break that began sometime in 1998. Michael left the sport again and worked for several years in various roles as a butcher, factory worker, demolition worker, postman, salesman, and in countless other roles.
Professional MMA Career
Michael started his professional MMA career in 2004 with a bang and killed his debut opponent Steve Matthews in only 38 seconds by submission. His second fight was his first knockout victory, and in his third fight, he claimed the Cage Rage Light Heavyweight title with a TKO victory over Mark Epstein.
A year after his professional debut, he was able to record a victory over Dave Radford, with which he won the then still free title in Cage Warriors Light Heavyweight. Two months later, in June 2005, he also won the FX3 Light Heavyweight title and lost it in September of the same year, after the title was taken away from him by the Cage Rage promotion.
In UFC’s reality TV series The Ultimate Fighter 3, Michael Bisping, who trained under Tito Ortiz, became only the second light-heavyweight title winner in the TV series when he defeated Josh Haynes in two rounds.
After losing to Rashad Evans, Michale decided to drop back to the middleweight category. This move meant an immediate improvement in his career record. Bisping recorded wins against players like Charles McCarthy, Jason Day and Chris Leben.
Michael Bisping returned for the ninth season of the reality series The Ultimate Fighter. He hosted the season together with his fighting partner Dan Henderson. After the show, at UFC 100, Bisping recorded his first knockout defeat against Henderson. The former light heavyweight suffered from mild amnesia after the defeat. Michael took over the role of coach again in 2011 in The Ultimate Fighter 14 with Jason Miller. At the final of the show on December 3, 2011, he achieved a TKO victory over Miller in three rounds.
What Happened To His Eye?
The year 2013 began for the Brit with a bitter note. On January 13, Bisping suffered a freak injury that quickly became one of the most famous injuries in UFC history. In the second round of a match against Vitor Belfort, he suffered a retinal detachment in his right eye after being kicked in the head.
Michael Bisping refused to see a doctor for fear that the results of the doctor’s visit would end his fighting career. He continued the fight but eventually decided to go under the knife as the symptoms of his eye injury became too severe to compete with him. His surgery kept him away from competition for almost a year, but the resilient fighter returned on April 16, 2014, in a fight against Tim Kennedy.
Since then Bisping has been living with a condition known as strabismus. This basically means that his eyes are not properly aligned when he is focused on an object.
In August 2014, Bisping received his first Performance of the Night bonus with a TKO victory over Cung Le. In the following years, he repeatedly won and lost a few matches. He had to deal with people like Luke Rockhold, C.B. Dollaway, and Thales Leites. In December 2016 he recorded a unanimous decision victory over Anderson Silva, and both fighters were awarded the Fight of the Night honors.
With only 17 days to prepare, Michael faced then UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold in a title fight in June 2016. He knocked him out in the first round and took the title, becoming the first UFC champion from Great Britain. He finally lost it on November 4, 2017, to Georges St-Pierre through technical submission.
In May 2018, Michael Bisping said goodbye to martial arts for the last time and thus continued his professional MMA career.
Michael’s Acting Portfolio
While Michael was still active in the MMA, he got his first role in a big movie in 2016. He played the role of a character named Hawk in 2017 xXx: The Return of Xander Cage. Before that, however, he already had smaller appearances in the comedy thriller Plastic in 2014 and in the television series Strike Back in 2015.
In 2017 Michael Bisping also appeared in Dark Matter, Twin Peaks and My Name is Lenny. In January 2018 Den of Thieves was released, a film in which he played a small role alongside Gerard Butler and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. He also played a role in another movie called Triple Threat from 2018.
Family: Wife, Kids, Son
The former UFC champion met his wife Rebecca Bisping (formerly Sidwick) in Manchester. The couple did not tie the knot until 2014, but they have been together for a long time, as the age of their three children proves. Michael and his Australian wife were married in an unmistakably UFC-inspired wedding. The ceremony was even hosted by UFC announcer Bruce Buffer. They have three children, two sons, Callum and Lucas, and a daughter, Ellie.
Body Stats: Height and Weight
The kickboxing pro actually has no more imposing figure than most of his MMA contemporaries. He stands at a height of 1.85 m (6 feet 1 inch) and holds a bodyweight of 84 kg (185 lbs). During his time as a fighter, Michael had a range of 192 cm (75.5 inches).