Michael Bisping News: Bisping vs Handerson updates

Come 8th October, this Saturday, the iconic venue of Manchester Arena will come alive as the man who put British MMA on the world map is expected to march out to the tune of 21000 strong, chanting the name of their local hero, RDX Sport’s brand ambassador and Britain’s first-ever UFC Champion. Any support for the challenger, Dan Henderson, will most likely drown under an orchestra of Michael Bisping supporters.

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Manchester Arena has seen the who’s who of the fight world including legendary figures such as Ricky Hatton, Joe Calzaghe, Mike Tyson, David Haye, Amir Khan, Jermaine Johnson, and so the list goes on; what it hasn’t seen though, is a British MMA fighter defending his title on home soil, his native land.

Michael ‘The Count’ Bisping has been fighting all his life. Legend has it, he started training Ju-Jitsu at the ripe age of 8 and was a natural when it came to fight sports. At a time where MMA was relegated to underground bare knuckle fighting with little or no coverage, Bisping was only 15 when he began competing. Flash forward a few years, Michael had already won countless British Ju-Jitsu and Kickboxing championships, making him unbeatable in a fading English MMA scene. It was time to take it to the Americans, where MMA was alive and well. Entering the third TUF (The Ultimate Fighter) season with fellow Englishman Ross Pointon, like a hot butter through knife, Bisping would cut through the competition whether his opponents liked it or not to become the first English Ultimate Fighter winner. The pride of England would soon become the gateway for English and European mixed martial artists alike.

Michael Bisping comes from humble beginnings, and his journey so far has been nothing short of spectacular. The Fox Sports commentator, British actor, and current Middleweight UFC Champion of the world has faced the who’s who of the division, often times falling short of title shots to point-scoring wrestlers and steroid abusers. His record boasts fights from Anderson Silva, Dan Henderson, Vitor Belfort, Wanderlei Silva, Akiyama Yoshihiro, Chris Leben etc. His main losses have come against opponents who were either on Testosterone Replacement Therapy or PEDs, something proven numerous times in the past but if his history has shown anything, Bisping always comes to fight, and it’s never an easy one. Until Luke Rockhold came into the mix. All it took was a round and a well-placed head-kick, something Rockhold had promised to do, and he delivered. Bisping was sent back down the all-too familiar ladder where he’d have to rise through the ranks once again. This did not quell the fire in him.

After coming short of a chance to fight for the title against (then Champion) Chris Weidman, the brash Brit would go back to the drawing board, and compile an unstoppable run at the age of 37; nearly a decade after his first ever UFC appearance to beat the likes of top contenders C.B Dollaway, Thales Leites and a chance at his life-long dream, to fight the greatest of all time and the most dominant Middleweight ex-champion MMA to have ever graced the Octagon, Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva.

Luke Rockhold had defeated Chris Weidman for the belt, making Luke the no.1, and most feared fighter in the Middleweight division, he was now the UFC Middleweight Champion.

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An immediate rematch between Weidman and Rockhold was scheduled, in the meanwhile Bisping dominated the most feared middleweight in MMA history. A series of events led to Weidman pulling out of his championship bout 17 days before their rematch. Other top contenders, Jacare Souza and Romero were out of commission, the only healthy fighter in the roster that could replace Weidman was no other than Michael Bisping, who was busy shooting the xXx movie with Vin Diesel at the time.

Bisping accepted the fight without a second thought for a chance to shoot 2 birds with one stone, a chance to avenge his embarrassing loss and also fulfil his lifelong dream of becoming a Champion; with only 17 days to prepare, while shooting a movie, no one in their right minds would want to fight Luke Rockhold on such short notice. Not Bisping though, he wanted revenge, and he knew only a title shot would bring out the best in him.

The world called it luck, deeming Bisping unworthy, undeserving of the title shot that literally landed on his lap; some even said he didn’t belong in the top 10. They wrote him off, comparing his last loss to Rockhold and reminding him of the current Champion’s standing, the idea that Luke was simply unbeatable but Michael was convinced that this was his destiny, it didn’t matter how unprepared he was.

‘The Count’ shocked the world to not only beat, but knock Luke Rockhold out cold in the very first round on 17 days’ notice. He did what no one expected of him, a KO win (something uncharacteristic of the volume, TKO based fighter), avenging a loss to a top 5 guy (someone Bisping was unworthy to fight) and finally, becoming the first ever British UFC Middleweight Champion of the World. At the age of 37, Mike was on top of the food-chain, against all odds.

Once considered the gate keeper of the top 10, ‘The Count’ was always just a stone’s throw away from being considered the best in the division, and if his victory over Luke Rockhold taught us anything, the no.10 guy in the top ten can easily beat the no.1 guy on any given day.

His first title defence will be against the always dangerous Dan Henderson. If there was one loss that he wanted to avenge more than the Rockhold KO, it was this. The time a TRT Dan Henderson knocked Mike out and proceeded with a follow-up Hendo bomb to a downed Bisping to become one of the most memorable KO’s in MMA history. Times have changed, the game has changed, and with it so did Bisping, while Hendo remained. On 8th October, he will have the chance to redeem himself and send a legend off to retirement.

Michael Bisping is a true champion and a hero in his country. One can even make the argument that fighters across Europe and the UK like Conor McGregor would not enjoy the success they currently do. British MMA was built on the blood, sweat and tears of Michael Bisping; for every single drop of blood spilled, a 100 youth are inspired to take control of their destinies, to never give up and become champions in their own right.

conor-mcgregor

Conor Mcgregor

You can’t keep greatness away from a Champion, it’s as simple an equation as that. Sooner or later, if you keep true to the journey – you will reap the rewards of it too.

RDX Sports welcomes Michael Bisping, our brand ambassador, our hero, our Champion – thank you for bringing the belt back home to Manchester.