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Michael Bisping has been teasing retirement for some time and he made it official Monday night on the “Believe You Me” podcast. However, what we have seen from one of the toughest fighters that ever came out of the United Kingdom is that it does not take much to get him riled up for a fight. While issues with a detached retina are well documented, “The Count” cited problems with his other eye following the Kelvin Gastelum fight leading him to this decision.
The decision to retire from a way of life is a tough one for any athlete that has chosen contact sports as a career, but the legacy and glory of combat also never seems to be fulfilled if there is an ounce of fight left. The recent buzz with Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz possibly returning to action against one another is proof enough of that. Georges St. Pierre can also be included, when he took his four-year hiatus from competition only to face Bisping for the middleweight title at UFC 217.
Maybe Bisping should not have fought so soon after that loss. Maybe time off after losing the title could have got a few more fights out of him, but the bout with Gastelum is the one that seemed to have sparked the new issues with his eye that brought the former champ to his decision. With one eye already giving him issues, no one can fault him for making the decision, but some may lay blame should he decide to return like others before him.
If toughness has been watered down in mixed martial arts, Bisping is one of the few that never changed a thing from the beginning of his career to the end. Either way, the Englishman is one of the most polarizing characters in the sport to hang up his gloves and the spotlight he brought on MMA in the UK is undeniable. The younger up-and-coming fighters need to take note: If you need some inspiration on being a true bad ass, see the career of Michael Bisping.
Edward Carbajal serves as the lead MMA analyst for Frontproof Media and holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and a brown belt in Ishin Ryu Karate. He has covered combat sports since 2014 and has been a fan of MMA since UFC 1. You can follow him on Twitter @Carbazel or at his website TheBlogBoardJungle.com.