Fight Facts Retrospective: Michael ‘The Count’ Bisping

By Jay Pettry May 30, 2018

Fight Facts is a breakdown of all the interesting information and Octagon oddities on every card, with some puns, references and portmanteaus to keep things fun. These deep stat dives delve into the numbers, providing historical context and telling the stories behind those numbers.

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Once a polarizing figure in the mixed martial arts community, Michael Bisping retired a legend and a lock for the hall of fame. In his record-setting career spanning almost 12 years, Bisping defied critics and oddsmakers alike to capture the belt 10 years after winning the Season 3 of “The Ultimate Fighter” in 2006. With a multitude of Ultimate Fighting Championship records under his belt, Bisping will forever be remembered as one of the greats.

OFF THE CHARTS: From June 2006 to November 2017, Bisping competed in 29 bouts, with five taking place at light heavyweight before dropping down to middleweight for the remainder of his career. He fought at middleweight more times than any other fighter in the division’s history.

WINNERS ALWAYS WIN: With 20 career wins inside the Octagon, Bisping ended his career tied for the most wins in UFC history along with Georges St. Pierre and Donald Cerrone. His 16 wins at middleweight are the most in divisional history.

TUF TALK: Winner of Season 3 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Bisping became the fifth fighter to win their season of TUF and win a championship. The four TUF winners to become champion before Bisping were Matt Serra (Season 4), Forrest Griffin (Season 1), Rashad Evans (Season 2), and Carla Esparza (Season 20).

PEOPLE CAME FROM MILES AROUND: Bisping was featured in 14 main events over the years, as well as eight co-main events, serving as one of the fighters on the marquee for over 75 percent of his UFC bouts. Bisping never fought on the preliminary card, and was featured in the main event in seven different countries, spanning five continents.

TICKING AWAY THE MOMENTS THAT MAKE UP A DULL DAY: Bisping spent over 6 hours and 5 minutes inside the Octagon, second-most all-time behind Frankie Edgar, and is one of only three fighters in UFC history to ever fight for over six hours in that Octagon (Demian Maia).

PUNCHES IN BUNCHES: Landing 1,654 total strikes throughout his 24-fight middleweight career, Bisping connected on the most number of strikes in that division by far, with the next highest at 1,055 from Rafael Natal. His UFC career strike total of 1,935 is the third-highest, behind GSP and Edgar.

NEVER TELL HIM THE ODDS: Bisping scored one of the most significant betting upsets in UFC history when he knocked out Luke Rockhold in the first round at UFC 199 to win the middleweight belt, coming in as a +525 underdog (Rockhold -750 favorite). Those were the same odds when Holly Holm upset Ronda Rousey, and were even more significant than Rose Namajunas (+500) knocking out Joanna Jedrzejczyk (-700). Those odds still pale in comparison to T.J. Dillashaw (+710) knocking out Renan Barao (-910), or Serra’s (+800) historic upset of St. Pierre (-1300).

MONEY IN THE BANK: Over the course of his career, Bisping was awarded five “Fight of the Night” bonuses, and only 14 other fighters in company history have earned five or more. Bisping prevailed in all five of those bouts that earned “Fight of the Night.”

TARGET ON HIS BACK: Bisping’s opponent earned a post-fight bonus all five times the Brit was stopped inside the Octagon.

CAME BACK WITH A VENGEANCE: The only time Bisping ever lost two fights in a row were in his two final fights, when he was submitted by GSP at UFC 217 and then knocked out by Kelvin Gastelum at UFC Fight Night 122.

NOT ALWAYS SUNSHINE AND RAINBOWS: In a stretch from December 2011 to April 2015, Bisping alternated wins and losses over nine straight fights.

NOT REALLY HIS BAG: Over the course of Bisping’s lengthy UFC career, he attempted only five submissions and never submitted an opponent. In comparison, Bisping landed eight knockdowns against opponents while knocking out 10 of them.

ONE LAST WOOHOO: Bisping walked out to “Song 2” by Blur 24 times throughout his UFC career (16-8), ending with the third-most utilized song by a single fighter. Cerrone has walked out to “Cowboy” by Kid Rock for all 29 of his bouts, and Joe Lauzon has walked out to “Move” by Thousand Foot Krutch for all but one of his 26 bouts.

Jay Pettry is an attorney and a statistician. Writing about MMA since he started studying the “Eminem Curse” in 2012, and while writing for Vice Sports and Combat Docket along the way, he put together many UFC fight result and entrance music databases to better study the sport. You can find him on twitter at @jaypettry.

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