Michael Bisping v GSP: The making of a middleweight champion
British superstar lays his belt on the line
Michael Bisping is just a handful of hours out from an intriguing clash with Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217 on 4 November.
The UFC middleweight champion takes on the St-Pierre after the Canadian legend came out of retirement specifically for this fight.
It’s the biggest fight of Bisping’s 13-year career. At 38-years-old, it’s been a long road to this point for the Briton.
The Coral News Team take a closer look at the Mancunian’s career.
Ultimate Fighter Breakout
Bisping actually made his MMA debut way back in 2004. However, the sport still wasn’t getting major exposure overseas at that point.
It was only when the Englishman appeared on The Ultimate Fighter – a reality TV fighting competition – that he truly made his name.
‘The Count’ defeated Josh Haynes during that run to win a six-figure contract with the UFC.
A split decision defeat to fellow TUF winner, Rashad Evans, was a blow. But it singled Bisping out as an exciting fighter with the promotion.
Move to middleweight
A move from light heavyweight down to middleweight seemed to suit Bisping. A run of three consecutive wins followed until a defeat to Dan Henderson at UFC 100.
It was a unforgettably vicious KO from Henderson as Bisping lay prostrate on the ground. However, the Manc would have his revenge a few years later.
From 2009-14, The Count would have an up-and-down career, with a number of big wins, and hard defeats.
Victories against the likes of Dan Miller and Brian Stann were sandwiched in between losses to Wanderlei Silva and Chael Sonnen.
2014 onwards – the glory years
A defeat to Luke Rockhold in Australia in November 2014 would put the Briton on a run that would see him make UFC history.
Victories against C.B Dollaway and Thales Leites put Bisping on a collision course with arguably the greatest MMA athletes of all time – Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva.
In his home country, the Brit won a unanimous decision against Silva in what was the fight of the night.
Chris Weidman was then due to face Luke Rockhold at UFC 199, but had to pull out through injury.
Bisping stepped up, agreeing to take the fight on just 17 days’ notice and won!
In one of the biggest MMA upsets of all time, he stopped the American to become middleweight strap holder and the first ever British UFC champion.
In a twist of fate, his first title defence would see him get his revenge over Dan Henderson in another fight of the night.
GSP tempted out of retirement
Bisping’s gradual rise to UFC stardom has led to Georges St-Pierre coming out of retirement after four years.
The former welterweight king was lured from his slumber to meet the Brit in what will be a titanic clash.
Should Bisping win, it will cement his legacy as Britain’s greatest ever MMA athlete and a future UFC hall of fame entrant.