Michael Bisping to retire after UFC London in March

Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) cut under his left eye during his fight against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) in the UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports
Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

Former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping doesn’t plan on sticking around the sport much longer. Facing off against Kelvin Gastelum at UFC Fight Night 122 later this month, the longtime Octagon contender says he wants to retire after a planned contest at UFC Fight Night 127 in March of next year.

It’ll be a homecoming of sorts for Bisping, who was born in Manchester, England, and has his sights set on retiring after a fight in London in March.

“I definitely want my last fight to be in England. I’ve always wanted my last fight to be in England,” Bisping told Ariel Helwani on “The MMA Hour” Monday.

Bisping was the source of some surprising news late last week, agreeing to face Gastelum just three weeks after losing his title to Georges St-Pierre in the main event at UFC 217. While Bisping stands a very low chance of retiring as champion now that he’s lost the belt, he admits he’s at peace with his decision to call it quits next spring.

“I’m at peace right now. I’ve been at peace for a long time,” he said. “Contrary to popular belief, with GSP saying I’m an angry man, I’m a very happy man. It’s time to move on and do something else with my life. I’m very proud of what I achieved in this sport, and I’m not done yet. That’s why I want to fight Kelvin, because I know I can do better than what I showed [at UFC 217].”

Bisping has been fighting in the UFC since winning the third season of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series back in 2006. He became a UFC champion nearly 10 years later to the day.

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