22 Aug MMA UK’s Featured Fighter Friday: Michael Bisping
This weeks featured fighter is Michael Bisping. He is an English martial artist who competes in the middleweight division of the UFC. He has 24 wins and 6 losses and is fighting Cung Le this weekend at UFC fight night in Macau China.
What might surprise a few fans is the fact that Michael was born in Cyprus on a British military base and later moved to Lancashire. Bisping began training Jiu-Jitsu, Kickboxing, Boxing and Karate. Bisping enjoyed a successful Kickboxing career winning the north-west area title and the pro british light heavyweight title.
Soon after winning the title for a second time he was forced to stop his full-time training to find a real job. Bisping worked in factories, slaughterhouses, as well as an upholsterer, a tiler, a postman, a plasterer, a double-glazing salesman, a production line operative, making barbecues and was a successful DJ around the north-west club scene.
Early on in his career in only his third fight Bisping became the cage rage light heavyweight champion at Cage Rage 7, defeating Mark Epstein by technical knockout. Bisping defended his championship against Epstein at Cage Rage 9 via knockout that cemented his status as one of the top light heavyweight fighters in England and also earned him the moniker “The Great British Hope” by UFC.com. He then went on to win the vacant Cage Warriors light heavyweight title by defeating Dave Radford.
In 2006 Bisping appeared on the The Ultimate Fighter as a contestant training under Tito Ortiz. He then made it all the way to the final where he fought and defeated Josh Haynes by TKO making Bisping second lightweight winner of The Ultimate Fighter.
Bisping’s first loss in the UFC occurred when he faced fellow Ultimate Fighter winner Rashad Evans via split decision. After his loss Bisping dropped down to middleweight. After defeating Chris Leben, Bisping was confirmed as one of the coaches on the ninth season of The Ultimate Fighter. The other coach was former Pride Champion Dan Henderson. Bisping would fight Henderson after the show’s conclusion, at UFC 100. Bisping was knocked out by Henderson with an overhand right. It was the first occasion Bisping had ever suffered a knockout loss.
In 2011 it was revealed that Bisping would once again be a coach on The Ultimate Fighter opposite Jason Miller. Bisping defeated Miller via TKO at The Ultimate Fighter 14 finale. Bisping then fought Chael Sonnen for a chance to challenge Anderson Silva for the middleweight title. Sonnen defeated Bisping via unanimous decision in a fight that could have went either way.
Bisping then went on to defeat Brian Stann then had a title eliminator fight against Vitor Belfort which he lost by a second round TKO. Bisping then defeated Alan Belcher then pulled out of a fight with Mark Munoz with an eye injury which kept him out for 12 months. On his return he lost to Tim Kennedy via unanimous decision and he was now facing Cung Le this weekend at UFC fight night 48.
The fight with Cung Le is make or break for Bisping as a loss will put him well out of the title picture and possibly even mean that he gets cut from the UFC but highly unlikely as he is still a huge draw. On the other hand a win will restore his confidence and more likely than not will secure him a fight with Luke Rockhold and a win would surely put him back into title contention.