So you want to be a fighter?
Michael Bisping has been retired for almost three years, but the former UFC middleweight champion still finds himself in and out of surgery due to serious long-term injuries stemming from his 13-year fight career.
The UFC Hall of Famer recently underwent anterior cervical discectomy in California to fix a ruptured disc in his neck and he’s hoping that it’ll be his last ever visit to the surgery room.
“Last one, hopefully. This is a decent one. Anterior Cervical discectomy. They enter through an incision in the front of my neck. Push all my throat and insides to one side to reveal my spine. Then they remove a disc, insert a titanium plate, screw in 4 screws and shave down some bone Spurs in the spine and stitch me back up. See you in about 6 hours,” Bisping wrote on Instagram prior to surgery.
Bisping has suffered some gruesome injuries throughout his career but none of them stopped him from accomplishing his dream of becoming a UFC champion. ‘The Count’ fought for six years with complete loss of vision in his right eye due to a detached retina and somehow managed to KO Luke Rockhold to win the middleweight title despite almost losing vision in both eyes at UFC 199.
“The fight with Rockhold, a few days before I flew out to Australia I got headbutted in training and I had stitches in my eye,” Bisping said while reminiscing over the Rockhold fight. “This is all in the book. Obviously, everybody knows I’ve got one bad eye that pretty much, well, I have a fake eye in there now so it doesn’t work. [Laughs]. But my good eye, I had stitches all on the top of the eye and they actually took the stitches out as I got to the arena because they said, ‘Mike you can’t fight with stitches in your eye.’
“So they took the stitches out and at the start of that fight against Rockhold, he headbutts me and opens the cut and I couldn’t see a f*cking thing. It was like somebody taking a tub of paint and pouring it on a wind screen and then you put the windshield wipers on and it will wipe the paint off but it will just smear. So the blood was going into my eye, I would wipe the blood like this, and then I could kind of see for a second, and then the blood would run into my eye again so I would wipe it again and then while I was doing that, boom, I got head kicked. I had no idea what f*cking happened because I couldn’t see sh*t. But I couldn’t say that at the time because I still wanted to carry on fighting, you know what I mean? So when I got my opportunity for a rematch, even on two weeks’ notice, of course I f*cking took it because I knew I could beat that guy.”
Bisping retired in 2018 following back-to-back stoppage losses to Georges St-Pierre and Kelvin Gastelum and currently resides in Orange County, California where he works as a UFC commentator, analyst and podcast host.
Update: Bisping successfully underwent surgery and provided a couple of post-op photos on social media.