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Dublin: 11 °C Tuesday 16 October, 2018

Bisping contemplating retirement after he sets new UFC record against GSP

The middleweight champion will defend his belt against the former welterweight title-holder Georges St-Pierre.

UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping.
UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping.
Image: Pete Byrne

MICHAEL BISPING HAS admitted that his forthcoming fight against Georges St-Pierre could be his last.

Bisping will set a new record for the number of UFC fights he has competed in when he defends the middleweight title against GSP in the main event at UFC 217. The fight will take place at Madison Square Garden in New York on Saturday, 4 November.

UFC 217 will also feature title defences for women’s strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk and men’s bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt against Rose Namajunas and TJ Dillashaw respectively.

For his clash with Bisping, former welterweight champion St-Pierre will be fighting for the first time since his successful title defence against Johny Hendricks in November 2013.

“It’s an iconic arena. It’s a big fight. It’s Georges St-Pierre. Everybody knows who Georges St-Pierre is,” Bisping told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour.

“There’s not many people who have crossed over from the MMA fanbase into the mainstream, and Georges, I’d say he’s there. Maybe not as much as a Conor [McGregor] or a Ronda [Rousey], but he’s not far behind, so it’s a big fight.

“Georges brings a lot to the table. He’s a tough challenge, and as I said, it’s a big fight. I think this is going to be the biggest MMA fight of the year. There’s three title fights on the event, so it’s a huge event.

“I think the career I’ve had, the years I’ve been in the UFC, the injuries I’ve had, the ups and downs, getting close to title fights and all of this, there’s a possibility [that] this might be my last ever fight. I don’t know if I’ll fight again after this. What a way to go out if it is.”

UFC 204 - Manchester Arena Bisping has had 37 professional fights, 27 of which have been in the UFC. Source: Pete Byrne

Bisping (30-7) is currently tied with Frank Mir and Tito Ortiz on 27 UFC fights. He made his debut for the organisation back in 2006 and eventually got his hands on a belt when he shocked Luke Rockhold in June of last year at UFC 199.

The 38-year-old Englishman said: “I’ve been here for so long. I’ve done it for so long now, and there’s other things to do in life. I still love this, don’t get me wrong. But you can’t do it forever. You can’t do it forever, and Georges should have stayed retired. He should have retired as a champion. I’m going to beat Georges and I’ll retire as a champion — maybe.”

He added: “Next year I’ve got three acting projects lined up that are all big — three big movies and a Netflix series. I’ve got things going on outside the octagon and I’ve got money that I can earn outside of the octagon.

“Ultimately we do this for the money. You’re doing this right now because you want to earn money. I fight in the UFC because I want to earn money. And if I can earn money outside of the octagon that’s just as good, that I don’t have to risk my health for, then it makes sense, and I can retire as the champion and parlay that into an active, successful career outside of the octagon.”

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Paul Dollery

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