Michael Bisping Unveils New Post-Retirement Job

Michael Bisping should be a natural at this:

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Michael Bisping dealt the MMA community some at least somewhat surprising news when he announced his retirement from the sport after 14 years on May 28.

The 39-year-old former UFC middleweight champ was expected to compete in one final farewell fight following two straight losses to Georges St-Pierre and Kelvin Gastelum last November, but a new eye injury to his left eye after years of difficulty with his right persuaded him to preserve his health and ride off into the sunset a bit early.

You can’t blame “The Count,” as he’d given his heart and soul to the UFC as the winner of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 3 way back in 2006. Often overmatched in terms of sheer athleticism, the brash, smack-talking Brit parlayed his opportunities into a late-career run to the title after coming up a bit short in many of the biggest stages of his career prior to his last years.

Obviously his biggest win was his shocking first-round knockout over Luke Rockhold at 2016’s UFC 199, but he had much bigger plans to go out on top. St-Pierre put an end to that plan, however, and ‘The Count’ recently told ESPN.com that he knew he should have called it a day right there:

“When I fought ‘GSP’ and lost the belt [in November], I should have retired there and then. I kind of knew.

“My plan was to defend the belt three times. Henderson, Georges, the No. 1 contender — then call it a day. Obviously, I didn’t win the second fight, so we didn’t get that far. But that was the plan.”

Looking to rebound from the defeat instead, Bisping took a fight with Gastelum only three weeks after he fought St-Pierre in an effort to erase the bad memories, but instead met a the harsh realization that he perhaps took the fight too early when he was brutally knocked out in Shanghai.

Despite the two setbacks, Bisping was linked to a farewell fight with a who’s who of MMA talent including names such as Rashad Evans, Lyoto Machida, Vitor Belfort, and of course, a trilogy fight with Rockhold. None of the bouts ultimately materialized, and he chose his health over one last fight – certainly a decision no one can fault him for. That doesn’t mean he won’t try to wiggle out of it and un-retire, something he claimed he almost did in a conversation with UFC President Dana White:

“I’ve always wanted to leave the door open,” Bisping said. “Dana called me, and I even tried to dig my way out of it then. He said, ‘Hey, Mike, are you sure about this?’ And I almost talked myself out of it. It kind of came to a point where I had to make it final.”

So there was only one way to truly retire from the UFC, and that was to take his name out of the USADA testing pool.

When he did choose to step down, Bisping stated he was glad to finally have that monkey off his back – something he made official by withdrawing from the pool:

“The UFC emailed me and said, ‘Do you want to be left in the testing pool, just in case?’” Bisping said. “And I said, ‘No. Take me out.’

“The time was right, honestly. It feels like a massive burden has been lifted off my shoulders, because I was always second-guessing, always thinking, ‘Am I gonna fight once more?’ Now, it’s done.”

Long a fixture on UFC fight coverage on FOX Sports 1, “The Count” will move on to the role of commentator on ‘Dana White’s Contender Series’ this summer in addition to several business interests including the opening of a whopping 110 UFC gyms in his native United Kingdom.

Overall, he’s excited abut his new role on the summer series, and plans to parlay that into a bigger role calling UFC bouts – similar to how he capitalized on some of the biggest opportunities in the UFC:

“I’m ready to focus on other things, and I wouldn’t have been able to if I didn’t commit to retirement. I want to commentate for the Contender Series, and then move on to calling UFC fights. That’s the plan.”

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10 Most Shocking Moments In MMA History

Take a look back at the 10 most shocking moments in MMA history:

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Over the past nearly 25 years, the UFC and the sport of mixed martial arts as a whole has provided fight fans with countless shocking, compelling moments, but some memories stick out as much more shocking than the others.

Fighters have had their legs snapped like a twig mid-fight, thrown sucker punches after the bell, and done several other seriously jaw-dropping occasions inside the octagon.

Check out the 10 most shocking moments in MMA history:

10. Paul Daley Punches Koscheck After Bell

It’s kind of funny that punches and kicks thrown within regulation time don’t raise any eyebrows, but one strike errantly thrown after the bell is enough for a lifetime ban.

Daley learned the hard way that the UFC does not tolerate cheap shots. The scene was indeed quite jarring, as no one has thrown a cheap shot so blatantly before or since.

The sucker punch caused complete pandemonium and the fallout forced “Semtex” out of the UFC for good. The scene was truly shocking and caused a great deal of confusion before “Big” Dan Mirgliotta quickly stepped in.

Definitely a shocking moment for UFC fans.

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Six Huge Messes The UFC Should Have Avoided

Sometimes, the UFC shoots itself in the foot with problems that were easily avoidable. Whether it’s just bad matchmaking or more nefarious issues, the UFC has gone into crisis mode more often than they’d like to admit, and it seems like its been happening with concerning regularity lately. With mainstream media attention and publicity at […]

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Sometimes, the UFC shoots itself in the foot with problems that were easily avoidable.

Whether it’s just bad matchmaking or more nefarious issues, the UFC has gone into crisis mode more often than they’d like to admit, and it seems like its been happening with concerning regularity lately.

With mainstream media attention and publicity at an all-time high, the UFC needs to learn from their mistakes of the past to ensure a better product, but even as the world’s best MMA promotion by a wide margin, they could sometimes do much better in dealing with the curveballs the notoriously volatile fight game throws their way.

We broke down the six biggest messes the UFC could have easily avoided, and the results may surprise you:

Photo Credit: MMA Weekly

6. Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen

This match-up never made sense in the first place, yet the UFC insisted on putting it together.

They tried it at UFC 151 on short notice after Dan Henderson was forced out with a knee inury, which Jones declined. The UFC then canceled the entire card altogether.

Ignoring fate, they put on the fight at UFC 159 instead, and Jones predictably smashed Sonnen in the first round. However, Jones did break his toe in a freak accident while defending a takedown, and one wonders whether Sonnen could have won the belt had the bout gone past the first round. Jones’ big toe was completely broken in the most grotesque way; he had snagged it in a tear in the Octagon canvas.

But the writing was on the wall the entire time the UFC insisted on putting together a Jones vs. Sonnen title fight.

They tried to punish Jones for not accepting the bout on a week’s notice, yet in reality, it was the fans and other fighters on UFC 151 who were punished.

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Nick Diaz Hints at UFC Return Following Clearance From USADA

Former Strikeforce welterweight champion and fan favorite, Nick Diaz, could be set to return to the UFC soon. The Stockton local posted a hinting message on Instagram. Diaz is currently serving a suspension that concludes on the 19th of April. Diaz las…

Former Strikeforce welterweight champion and fan favorite, Nick Diaz, could be set to return to the UFC soon. The Stockton local posted a hinting message on Instagram. Diaz is currently serving a suspension that concludes on the 19th of April. Diaz last fought in January 2015 against UFC legend, Anderson Silva, falling to a unanimous […]

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The 10 Most Unexpected Short-Notice Fights In UFC History

The matchmaking for this past weekend’s UFC 223 headliner had more twists and turns than a Hollywood blockbuster. However, it’s far from the only time in the promotion’s history that the UFC’s matchmakers have been left scrambling at the last minute to find short-notice replacements. In this article, we’ll look back at 10 classic examples […]

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The matchmaking for this past weekend’s UFC 223 headliner had more twists and turns than a Hollywood blockbuster.

However, it’s far from the only time in the promotion’s history that the UFC’s matchmakers have been left scrambling at the last minute to find short-notice replacements.

In this article, we’ll look back at 10 classic examples of new opponents unexpectedly materializing out-of-the-blue in the final days before a big event to ensure that the show could still go on.

Fred Ettish vs. Johnny Rhodes

You have to dig deep into the history books to find out the shortest-notice fight ever in UFC history.

The night before UFC 2 in March of 1994, alternate fighter Fred Ettish was informed that he wouldn’t be fighting on the show, but he was invited to help out behind-the-scenes to make sure that the other fighters had everything they needed and were ready to fight on time.

On the night, Ettish was working backstage when one of the UFC’s head honchos Rorion Gracie urgently approached and asked if he could step in at the last minute to replace Freek Hamaker, who had just injured his hand during his opening round victory in the tournament.

Ettish estimates he had as little as 10-20 minutes to prepare, in which time he had to gather his gear, cornermen and do the briefest of warm-ups, before heading out to fight his opponent, Johnny Rhodes.

Unfortunately for Ettish, his bravery that night didn’t pay off as a disappointing performance against Rhodes led to a first-round submission loss, while he then cruelly became something of a laughing stock among MMA fans at the time, though these days he’s become more fondly remembered and respected.

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Anderson Silva Says He Could Fight For UFC Title Again

42-year-old former longtime UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva may never step foot into the Octagon again. After failing a second drug test that forced him out of a scheduled bout against Kelvin Gastelum late last year, Silva could possibly receive a lengthy suspension that could result in an end to one of the most illustrious […]

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42-year-old former longtime UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva may never step foot into the Octagon again.

After failing a second drug test that forced him out of a scheduled bout against Kelvin Gastelum late last year, Silva could possibly receive a lengthy suspension that could result in an end to one of the most illustrious careers in UFC history.

“The Spider” is remaining optimistic, however, even going as far as to say that he could potentially fight for the title again one day:

“I’m happy with everything that I’ve conquered,” Silva told Globo Esporte (via Bloody Elbow). “Nothing is forever. I still have my UFC contract and I’m very happy with it. Only time will tell what’s next. I’m feeling well, I train everyday, I’m a healthy guy. Waiting is all there is to it. I’m still alive in the division and there may be a chance to fight for the title again.”

Given his age and the likelihood that he’ll be reprimanded for failing a drug test, this seems unlikely, but crazier things have happened in mixed martial arts.

The Brazilian last competed at UFC 208 in January 2018, scoring a decision victory over Derek Brunson.

Prior to that, he had gone 0-4-1 in his previous five fights, dropping losses to Chris Weidman, Michael Bisping, and Daniel Cormier.

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