Former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping is officially the first inductee of the 2019 UFC Hall of Fame. The announcement was made in the middle of the UFC London’s live broadcast at the O2 Arena on Saturday night.
A veteran of 39 professional fights, “The Count” burst into the MMA mainstream scene as the winner of the third season of the Ultimate Fighter in 2006. He slowly climbed up the ranks, defeating notable names like Chris Leben, Brian Stann, and Anderson Silva, before knocking out Luke Rockhold in their rematch at UFC 199 in June 2016 to win the UFC 185-pound title.
Bisping went on to successfully defend the title once in a rematch against Dan Henderson, where he won via unanimous decision. He subsequently dropped the title to Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217 in November 2017, which was quickly followed by a first-round knockout loss to Kelvin Gastelum in Shanghai, China two weeks later.
In May 2018, Bisping formally announced his retirement at the age of 39.
The 2019 UFC Hall-of-Fame induction ceremony will take place at the Modern Wing on July 5th, during the annual International Fight Week.