Previously released in the UK, Michael Bisping’s autobiography, Quitters Never Win: My Life in the UFC, has now hit American shelves. Published by Diversion Books, the new release offers expanded content, with a chapter about Bisping’s induction into the UFC Hall of Fame.
Independent of the obvious—Bisping’s unlikely rise to become a UFC Middleweight Champion—the fighter-turned-commentator has a life story more suited than most to be turned into book form. Quitters Never Win features plenty of tall tales, such as the time Bisping fought off would-be kidnappers in South Africa.
Much of the story, of course, is about Bisping’s rise from his rough-and-tumble past to a unique sort of success as one of the most public faces in the UFC. There is also a certain dichotomy to Bisping himself, exemplified by the contrast between his Manchester brashness and his fighting name, “The Count.” Bisping’s grandfather was, in fact, a Polish Count, so Bisping truly is both—blue collar and blue blood.
The son of a military man and an Irish mother, he perhaps unsurprisingly found the fight life early, training in jiujitsu by age 8 and his first organized fight by age 15. Other than a brief hiatus at age 18, Bisping’s life has been dedicated to the study and practice of martial arts, landing in the sport of kickboxing. As a young man, he had to leave training full-time behind as he paid the bills working a variety of odd jobs, from a slaughterhouse to demolition companies.
Still, Bisping pursued the dream of being a professional fighter, and finally succeeded in 2004, at age 25. He worked his way up through various promotions, hitting Cage Warriors before getting to The Ultimate Fighter, training under Tito Ortiz. He won TUF 3, and made his debut at UFC 66, in 2006. Improbably, he would win his belt at UFC 199, in 2016.
In addition to his exploits inside the Octagon, Bisping has plenty of stories to tell about his adventures in TV and film. Bisping has parlayed small roles in projects like XXX: Return of Xander Cage into a leading role in The Journeyman, an upcoming boxing movie.
Impressively, Bisping’s book sits at 4.64 stars out of a possible 5 on Goodreads.com, which is a real shark pit of a site, and it has also been lauded by professional reviewers. So if you’re looking for a fun summer read, check out Quitters Never Win: My Life in the UFC.