UFC legend Michael Bisping announces retirement from MMA, cites eye injuries

Michael Bisping announced his retirement from MMA on Monday, citing eye injuries that leave him seeing flashes in the dark. (Getty)
Michael Bisping announced his retirement from MMA on Monday, citing eye injuries that leave him seeing flashes in the dark. (Getty)

Former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping announced his retirement from mixed martial arts on Monday, ending months of speculation over the fighting future of the UFC legend.

Michael Bisping ends months of retirement speculation

Bisping, 39, announced the decision on his “Believe You Me” podcast, officially bringing an end to his 14-year UFC career.

“So obviously I’ve teased this for a long time now. I might fight again, I might not,” Bisping said. “And unfortunately it’s not a fight that I’m announcing. I am going to announce my official retirement from mixed martial arts.”

Bisping has been openly indecisive about retiring since Kelvin Gastelum knocked him out in the first round during UFC Fight Night in Shanghai in November. It was his second loss in three weeks after Georges St. Pierre choked him out at UFC 217.

Eye injuries convinced Michael Bisping to stop fighting

Bisping didn’t cite the consecutive losses as his motivation to retire, rather that lingering eye issues convinced him to stop fighting.

Bisping suffered a right eye injury in 2013, but revealed that he’s seen flashes out of his left eye since the Gastelum fight that ended with a vicious left hand to his face.

“After the Gastelum fight, I went to a party with all my team,” Bisping said. “We went to a club, and because it was dark, I kept seeing this flash out of the corner of my good eye. … I realized there’s no flash going on. It’s just my eye, and every time I look left, it flashes.

“And it still does it now when it’s dark. It’s light now so I can’t see it. So I started freaking out, thinking oh my God, I don’t believe this, I’ve got a detached retina in my good eye. I have problems with my bad eye, it doesn’t look good, so obviously I was kind of freaking out.”

He revealed that doctors told him he had suffered a vitreous detachment in his left eye, which he explained as leaving him him vulnerable to having a detached retina.

Michael Bisping leaves remarkable record behind

Bisping finishes his MMA career with a 30-9 record. MMAFighting.com credits Bisping with the most wins in UFC history, the most fights in UFC history, the most significant strikes landed in UFC history and the second-most total fight time in UFC history.

Lyoto Machida called Bisping out for a fight after defeating Vitor Belfort in his final bout at UFC 224.

“Michael Bisping, I’m still waiting for you man,” Machida said. “I still want to do this fight. If you want to retire, you’ve got to fight me first.”

Machida will not get his wish as Bisping has prioritized his health over one more chance at victory.

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