Whilst many Brits woke up to sore heads on Sunday morning following a night on the tiles there was one Brit who woke up with a gleaming smile which will not be leaving his face for a long time.
On Saturday night that man become the first ever Brit to win a UFC Title and that man is none other than Michael “The Count” Bisping.
In the main event of #UFC199 Bisping defied the odds which were heavily stacked against him and not only defeated former Champion Luke Rockhold, but became only the third man to stop him in his eighteen fight career.
In doing so Bisping also joined the list of European elite fighters to hold the prestigious UFC Title (Bas Rutten, Andrei Arlovski, Joanna Jedrzejczyk & Conor McGregor).
For the longest time Bisping had always been on the cusp of clinching that title shot we all knew he would eventually get but always managed to fall at the last hurdle.
First there was a Title eliminator back at #UFC100 against Dan Henderson, and we all know how that one ended. Then Bisping was gifted with another eliminator fight, against Chael Sonnen. That again saw his chances snatched from in front of him and many believed that he would always be the guy that you needed to beat to get your name in the Title picture.
But for Bisping he wasn’t happy to settle with the “gatekeeper” tag and continued to push himself and strive for greatness, something which he earned on Saturday night.
In doing so he not only became a record breaker but has definitely opened up the doors to push MMA in the UK. For the longest time Britain has thrived for a spokesperson and they don’t make them any better than Michael Bisping in that regards.
He is not only a tremendous athlete but put a microphone in front of him and the rest is history. He has always been a key figure in pushing the sport in the UK and now with the added gravitas of the Gold around his waist will be a fundamental figure in growing the sport in the UK.
Life is about seizing opportunities and they don’t get much bigger than taking a UFC Title shot on two weeks notice. Michael Bisping the lad from Clitheroe has changed the history books for ever and nobody will ever be able to take that away from him.