Holding notable wins over many top UFC Fighters!
Mike was born in Cyprus in 1979, but moved to Bridlington, East Yorkshire, when he was a child. Taking an early interest in martial arts, he began training in a traditional form of jiujitsu known as Yawara Ryu under Paul Lloyd Davies when he was 8 years old. In 1994, at the age of 15, Mike competed as an amateur in England’s first “no holds barred” competition, a precursor to modern MMA, called Knock Down Sport Budo (KSBO).
Bisping began training kickboxing and karate on the advice of Allan Clarkin, owner of Black Knights Kickboxing, MMA, Combat Sambo, Burnley Gym, who saw potential in the young fighter. He enjoyed a short, but successful kickboxing career, winning the North West Area title and later the Pro British light heavyweight kickboxing title. In 1998, Michael returned to kickboxing to take the Pro British light heavyweight title for a second time. Soon after winning his second kickboxing title, he was forced to abandon his full-time training for a “real job”. He worked many different jobs and also a successful DJ around the north-west club scene.
Mike made his professional mixed martial arts debut at Pride & Glory 2: Battle of the Ages on April 4th 2004, taking a 0:38 submission victory over Steve Mathews. Just one month later, he scored his first knockout against John Weir at UK MMA Challenge 7: Rage & Fury. In his third MMA match, Bisping became the Cage Rage light heavyweight champion at Cage Rage 7, defeating Mark Epstein by TKO. He went on to defend his championship title in a rematch against Epstein at Cage Rage 9 with a knockout victory that solidified him as one of the top light heavyweight fighters in England.
At The Ultimate Fight Club UK: Natural Instinct on January 29th 2005, Bisping made his cage kickboxing debut against David Brown in a light heavyweight contest. With Brown badly cut, Bisping picked up the win via medical stoppage in round 2. Mike made his Cage Warriors debut for the promotion at Ultimate Force on April 30th 2005, defeating Dave Radford to win the vacant Cage Warriors light heavyweight title. He then competed in another light heavyweight cage kickboxing contest, against Cyrille Diabate at CWFC: Strike Force 1 on May 21st 2005, losing to Diabaté via decision after the end of the first extra round. He captured the FX3 light-heavyweight title on June 18th 2005. In his first Cage Warriors title defense, Bisping defeated Miika Mehmet at CWFC: Strike Force 2, on July 16th 2005. Near the end of 2005, Bisping successfully defend the Cage Warriors title against Jakob Lovstad and Ross Pointon in the CWFC: Strike Force series of events, leading to a record of 10 wins and no losses.
In early 2006 Bisping was featured on the UFCs The Ultimate Fighter reality television series as a contestant training under Tito Ortiz. He won a preliminary bout against Kristian Rothaermel by TKO, followed by a semi-final win against Ross Pointon by submission after landing a flying knee and a series of strikes. In the finals, Bisping defeated Josh Haynes by TKO at 4:14 into the second round, making Mike the second Light Heavyweight winner of The Ultimate Fighter television series. After his victory in the TUF 3 finals, Bisping fought at UFC 66 and defeated Schafer by TKO at 4:24 in the first round. On April 21, 2007, Bisping scored a TKO win over Elvis Sinosic at UFC 70 in Manchester, England. Mike wone the fight via stoppage at1:40 of the second round.
On September 8th, 2007, Bisping faced former Ultimate Fighter 3 rival Matt Hamill in London, England and won a split decision after 3 rounds. Bisping’s next match at UFC 78 against fellow Ultimate Fighter winner Rashad Evans resulted in his first loss, via split decision.
After his loss to Rashad Evans, Bisping decided to drop down a weight division, to middleweight. On April 19, 2008, at UFC 83, Bisping made his debut as a Middleweight against Charles McCarthy. Bisping won by TKO, as McCarthy was unable to continue after the first round due to a forearm injury he sustained after receiving an unanswered series of knees and uppercuts. Mike’s next fight at middleweight was on June 7th 2008 at UFC 85 in London, against Jason Day.
Bisping won the fight in dominant fashion in the first round, securing two takedowns and applying a high paced pressure.
Bisping headlined UFC 89 on October 18th, in a matchup against Chris Leben. Bisping won via unanimous decision. He used effective counter punching in the fight to keep the aggressive Leben at bay. Bisping then coached The Ultimate Fighter season 9. Mike would fight Dan Henderson after the show’s conclusion, at UFC 100 on July 11, 2009 at Mandalay Bay. The fight was for the UFC Middleweight Championship top contender spot. Bisping lost the fight via TKO and it marked the first occasion that he had ever conceded a knockout loss and also only his second loss in his MMA career to date.
Bisping faced Spirit MC & Pride veteran Denis Kang on November 14th 2009 at UFC 105. Bisping knocked out Kang in the 2nd round. The fight was awarded “Fight of the Night.” Bisping next faced former PRIDE Middleweight Champion Wanderlei Silva on February 21st 2010 at UFC 110 where he lost via unanimous decsion. He rebounded to defeated Dan Miller by unanimous decision on May 29th 2010 at UFC 114.
Bisping faced and defeated Yoshihiro Akiyama on October 16th 2010 at UFC 120, winning 30–27 on all three judges’ scorecards. The fight was awarded Fight of the Night honors. He then faced off in an emotionally charged fight against Jorge Rivera on February 26th 2011 at UFC 127. The fight ended with a TKO from Bisping in the second round. Mike would then be a coach on The Ultimate Fighter Season 14, opposite to Jason Miller. Bisping defeated Jason Miller via third round TKO on December 3rd 2011 at The Ultimate Fighter 14 Finale.
Bisping was expected to face Demian Maia in January 2012 at UFC on Fox 2. However, an injury forced Mark Muñoz to pull out of the fight. Bisping instead fought Chael Sonnen, on just eight days notice, in what was thought to be the number one contender fight. Mike lost a highly contested decision that awarded Sonnen a rematch with Anderson Silva. Mike is now set to fight Brian Stan on September 22nd 2012 at UFC 152 in Toronto.