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Michael Bisping to be inducted into UFC Hall of Fame

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Michael Bisping Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

“The Count” will go down in history.

Michael Bisping will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame this summer, it was announced Saturday during the UFC London main card. Bisping became the first British UFC champion when he won the middleweight title in 2016. The England native has 20 career UFC wins, tied for the second most in history.

The UFC Hall of Fame ceremony will take place July 5 in Las Vegas at a venue to be named. It will air live on UFC Fight Pass. Bisping will be inducted into the Modern Wing, joining the likes of Ronda Rousey, Urijah Faber, B.J. Penn and Forrest Griffin. The “Modern Era” encompasses fighters who turned pro on or after Nov. 17, 2000, are a minimum of 35 years old or have been retired for one year or more.

Bisping, 40, retired officially in December 2018 due to an eye injury after toying with the idea of coming back for a farewell bout, perhaps in his home country. He ended up falling in his final two career bouts, the former a third-round submission loss to Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217 in November 2017 at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Bisping dropped the UFC middleweight title in that bout.

Prior to that defeat, Bisping went on one of the most memorable runs in UFC history. “The Count” won three straight in 2015 and 2016, culminating in a unanimous decision win over Anderson Silva. That victory put Bisping in line for an unlikely title shot on two weeks notice as a late fill-in against Luke Rockhold at UFC 199 in June 2016.

In that main event fight at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., Bisping shockingly knocked out Rockhold in the first round to become UFC middleweight champion. For a long time, Bisping was considered one of the best fighters to never win a UFC title and that would no longer be the case.

Bisping, who finished his career with a 31-9 career record, defended that title successfully once, a unanimous decision win over Dan Henderson at UFC 204 near Bisping’s hometown in Manchester, England. Bisping owns victories over the likes of Henderson, Silva, Rockhold, Cung Le, Brian Stann and Chris Leben in 11 years with the UFC. He won The Ultimate Fighter 3 in 2006 and is one of eight TUF winners to win an undisputed UFC title. Bisping is the only TUF winner to ever successfully defend a UFC title.

“It’s hard to have the level of talent needed to compete in UFC for any amount of time, but Michael Bisping was able to have an 11-year career where he became a world champion and won The Ultimate Fighter, not many people can say that,” UFC president Dana White said in a statement. “He also came back and coached The Ultimate Fighter and is now one of the best analysts on our broadcast team. Michael has been a huge part of not only building our brand, but also the sport of mixed martial arts. He absolutely deserves to be in the UFC Hall of Fame. Congratulations.”

In his career, Bisping also won the Cage Warriors and Cage Rage light heavyweight titles. He started as a pro in 2004.

Among Bisping’s career accolades, he has the most wins in UFC middleweight history (16), is tied for the third most fights in UFC history (29), has the most significant strikes in UFC middleweight history (1,384), has the second most total strikes in UFC history (1,567) and has headlined UFC events in a record seven different countries.