Late on Monday, May 29, upon the arrival of the latest episode of his 'Believe You Me' podcast, UFC legend Michael Bisping announced the end of his long and storied career. The former middleweight champion and winner of the third season of The Ultimate Fighter has been a fixture in the UFC for over a decade, compiling a long list of records, including the most fights (29) and the most victories (20).
"I've won the belt, I've had tons of wins, I've done everything I set out to achieve...you've got to know when to walk away. I'm almost 40 years old and the time is now."
The reaction on Twitter was both swift and extensive. And for a fighter who has been known to ruffle a few feathers throughout his career, the expressions were overwhelmingly those of love and respect. Below are just a few.
@bisping Congratulations on an extraordinary career!! You fought whoever they placed in front of you with great skill and a warriors heart. It was an honor to share the cage with you every time but especially for your world championship victory. Have a beautiful retirement!!
— Big John McCarthy (@JohnMcCarthyMMA) May 30, 2018
Enjoy retirement @bisping you had an amazing career and always enjoyed our time sharing the spot light together!! #thecount pic.twitter.com/lCZguoeQo3
— Demetrious Johnson (@MightyMouseUFC) May 29, 2018
I knew the time was drawing near; but hearing that my @UFCONFOX partner in crime @bisping has officially retired is still bittersweet. Happy I won't be panicking while he fights, but sad I won't have the opportunity again. Congrats Mike! See you on set, and in the HOF!
— Karyn Bryant (@KarynBryant) May 29, 2018
Congratulations @bisping you fought them all and you proved your mettle time and time again. TUF Champ, most wins in ufc history, most fights in ufc history, @ufc middleweight champ. Time to enjoy your life even more. You earned it!
— Kenny Florian (@kennyflorian) May 29, 2018
My guy @bisping is getting out of the game. Congrats on a great career my man. You earned it! You made people care one way or the other and you won and won a lot. That’s what matters man. Congrats my man! DC pic.twitter.com/sD1rwNtz20
— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) May 29, 2018
Great career @bisping . I always wanted to fight you because you’re a legendary and top contender . To stay with the top organization and be relevant for years takes a lot, much respect and enjoy!
— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) May 29, 2018
Congratulations @bisping on an incredible career. A true pioneer of the sport and the first British Champ! You helped lead the way for UK MMA and will be missed in the octagon. It was always a pleasure to interview you. Enjoy retirement! #UFC pic.twitter.com/hQKTMjo55p
— Jade Morris (@jade001) May 29, 2018
Congrats to @bisping on his retirement ! He has accomplished so much in this sport and is def a future hall of famer! Unfortunately we never had the opportunity to fight in the octagon but it was a pleasure just to trash talk back and forth a few times ! Future is bright. Enjoy!
— Chris Weidman (@chrisweidman) May 29, 2018
Congrats @bisping on an amazing career and display of perseverance and no quit attitude. To become world champ after all the ups and downs was legendary and an inspiration. Thank you for all the amazing fights
— Brian Kelleher (@brianboom135) May 29, 2018
I've worked at @ufc for an age, believe me - @bisping did as much to secure sport around world as anyone. No-one could charm and engage skeptical journalists or even politicians like the Count. Everyone in the sport owes Mike a thank you tonight. Thank you, mate. 2/3
— Ant Evans (@AntEvansUFC) May 29, 2018
Thank you @Bisping!
Appreciate everything you have done for me and #TriumphUnited over the last decade.
You have been one hell of an MMA fighter and ambassador.
Mike was the first (@TriumphUnited) European / English fighter that I sponsored.
Forever grateful. pic.twitter.com/zSDcYPbVzR
— Hans Molenkamp (@HansMolenkamp) May 29, 2018
I want to thank @mikebisping for all the exciting fights of being a real fighter! I know our paths will cross again even in retirement! #retirementparty pic.twitter.com/wtkOM23BwN
— Roy Nelson (@roynelsonmma) May 29, 2018
Utterly blown away by all the beautiful messages regarding my retirement. I have so many people I need to thanks but right now, thank you for the kind words. I should retire more often
— michael (@bisping) May 29, 2018