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If he had the option to do it all over again, Michael
Bisping
would have ended his mixed martial arts career one
fight earlier than he actually did.

After relinquishing the middleweight title via submission to
Georges St.
Pierre
in a physically-demanding bout at UFC 217, Bisping
agreed to face Kelvin
Gastelum
approximately three weeks later in the UFC Fight Night
122 headliner. The British veteran dealt with eye issues dating
back to 2013, when he suffered a detached retina in his right eye
in a knockout loss to Vitor
Belfort
. Bisping told Submission Radio
that he wears a prosthetic and is essentially blind in that
eye.

While that created some difficulties in his career, he was able to
get cleared consistently enough to experience some of his greatest
success from that point forward. However, Bisping briefly had fears
of losing vision in his good eye following the knockout loss to
Gastelum in November 2017.

“I fight Georges St. Pierre, I lose that fight, and he knew I was
blind in one eye – he targeted it. Then, I fly to Shanghai, couple
of weeks later I fight Kelvin Gastelum, I get cracked, I think I’ve
had a good run and that was that,” Bisping told Submission Radio.
“And then we go to an after-party afterward, and I’m sitting there
in this club, and every time I look this way, I get a flash of
light. I was like, what was that? So I look again, another flash of
light. And every time I look to the left, I would get a flash of
light. And I started panicking because I’m thinking, holy s–t, I
don’t believe this, I’ve got a detached retina in my good eye. And
I started getting emotional, in a night club. I’ve had a couple of
drinks, but I’m like, f–k, I’m thinking I’m gonna go blind.”

The issues continued during his flight home, so Bisping went to see
a doctor. While the eye had been injured, the former UFC champion
did not lose his vision. It turned out he suffered a vitreous
detachment, which doesn’t threaten one’s vision by itself, but can
eventually lead to a detached retina.

“It’s a long flight back to LA, and I wake up halfway through and I
look to my left, and there’s that flashing light. Holy s–t, I’ve
forgotten all about that. So when I land, I call my eye doctor
straight away, and he’s like, ‘Yeah, you need to see someone.’ I go
in there — and whenever I’m uncomfortable, I always use humor as
kind of like a mask — and I went in and I see this doctor and I
say, ‘Listen, doc, I think I’ve got a detached retina in my good
eye.’ And he said, ‘Alright, well, let’s take a look, I’m gonna put
some drops in you’re not gonna be able to see for a while.’ And I
make a joke, I say, ‘Oh well, I guess I better get used to this
view, ey?’ And he says, ‘Calm down, we’re not there just yet.’ And
I was like, ‘We’re not f–ing there just yet? Jesus Christ.’ I was
freaking out. And anyway, turns out I had a vitreous
detachment.”



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Since suffering the initial eye injury, Bisping knew his time in
the UFC was limited. One of his goals during that period was to
make as much money as possible to provide for his family. Taking an
ill-advised fight against Gastelum helped further that pursuit,
although he admits it wasn’t the right decision.

Anderson
Silva
failed a steroid test and Kelvin Gastelum needed another
opponent,” Bisping said. “I was over-trained for GSP, and I was
like, screw it, whatever, it is what it is, I’ll fly out there, get
another payday. So, I went out there. So, listen, money’s one thing
and legacy is another. You can’t buy a legacy. So, I do regret
doing that Kelvin Gastelum fight, because I had no business doing
that.

“I was over-trained. In fact, I didn’t train for that fight
whatsoever. I was overtrained from the GSP one. Then I went on the
piss for a couple of weeks, and then flew out to China with my
mates, you know what I mean? He was training for the biggest fight
of his life, I had already been choked out a couple of weeks ago.
So, the conditions weren’t right. But there was a lot of money on
the table, but I knew I was almost done. And for me, that’s why I
got into this, I got into it to give my family a better life. And
as I said, I won’t go into the actual number, but it was a big
number, it was a huge number. And I’m like, alright, well I’ll go
out and collect that, and I’ll fly out to China.”

While Bisping briefly teased a farewell fight beyond that, he would

officially call it a career
in May 2018. The risk of one last
fight on home soil far outweighed the reward in the end.

“So I said I was going to be done fighting, but I did contemplate
another fight in London,” Bisping said on his podcast. “That never
happened. Probably a good thing. Everybody told me not to fight. I
was actually negotiating with the UFC to fight Rashad
Evans
in London. It’s probably a good thing that never
happened.”

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