Over ten years ago, a reining Cage Warriors Light Heavyweight champion named Michael Bisping got a chance to be on a new and successful reality series created by the UFC.
Since becoming victorious in the competition and getting into the UFC, Bisping has had a long, rollercoaster ride of a career. He's accomplished everything he has ever wanted this year, despite the odds being stacked against him. In just a few short weeks, Bisping will get a another chance to change history again when he looks to rectify his knockout loss to Dan Henderson.
Before UFC 204, take a look back at some of the best moments of Bisping's wild career.
5. Anytime He Opens His Mouth
To highlight Michael Bisping's career, there is no room to ignore his mouth. No one moment stands out, because every time Bisping is in a fight it gets the same treatment. Whether it is asking Anderson Silva if he is going to take Viagra before their fight—or still going off with Luke Rockhold after the fight—Bisping always has something to say and you always want to hear it.
4. Winning The Ultimate Fighter Season 3
The young British loudmouth got his spot to shine on the Ultimate Fighter season three.
From the very beginning, much like his whole career, Bisping would feel like he was being underestimated. He would use the snub above from Tito Ortiz to fuel his drive, and prove everyone wrong throughout the show, as well as entertain viewers. In the finals, Bisping finished Josh Haynes by TKO in the second round.
Bisping became the first European fighter to win The Ultimate Fighter, an achievement that would be echoed in an extreme degree late in his career.
3. Winning a War With Cung Le
Even though Cung Le was coming off of a two-fight win streak, on the surface he didn't seem like an important opponent. However, this was a crucial win in Bisping's career.
After almost a year out of the sport to heal from a detached retina, he lost a decision to Tim Kennedy in April 2014, at The Ultimate Fighter Nations Finale. When he fought Le later in August, there was no choice but to win. Bisping battled a bloodied Le until finally winning by technical knock out in the fourth round.
He'd call out Luke Rockhold after, setting up a feud.
2. Defeating the Legend Anderson Silva
Bisping was a 3-1 underdog against the greatest of all time candidate, Anderson Silva. The Brit would call out Silva most of his career, always missing an opportunity to fight the seemingly untouchable "Spider".
The stars aligned for Fight Night in London, England where the bout would finally happen. It was an insane fight which almost ended in controversy. Bisping signaled his mouthpiece was out and Silva performed a knee out of the Matrix, nearly knocking him out at the end of the round. Silva even thought he won and started celebrating. Amazingly, Bisping gained his composure back and went on to beat Silva in a unanimous decision. The incredible back and forth won Fight of the Night.
Hear Bisping talk about the career-defining fight himself, and see highlights in UFC 199: On the Brink.
1. Winning the UFC Middleweight Title
Bisping came into this fight with Luke Rockhold as an even larger underdog than Silva. At -525, no one making the odds thought Bisping could defeat Rockhold, especially after getting submitted in their first fight at UFC Fight Night back in 2014. To make things worse, Bisping took the fight on a very short notice from filming a movie.
Once again, for the most important moment in his career, Bisping didn't listen to anything anyone said. Rockhold sauntered out at UFC 199 and underestimated Bisping like many before, but got knocked out within the first round. After a decade in the UFC, he became the first ever British UFC champion.
The most surprising thing though, is that Bisping may have predicted the victory before it even happened.