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Michael Bisping Announced as 1st Member of UFC's 2019 Hall of Fame Class

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMarch 16, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 16:  Michael Bisping is announced as a newly elected member of the UFC Hall of Fame during the UFC Fight Night event at The O2 Arena on March 16, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

The UFC announced Michael Bisping as the first member of the promotion's Hall of Fame class of 2019 on Saturday.

The former UFC middleweight champion finished his 14-year pro MMA career with a 30-9 record.

He started his career as a light heavyweight, going 14-0 before losing to Rashad Evans at UFC 78 in 2007.

Bisping made his middleweight debut in 2008 and stayed there for 10 years. His middleweight tenure's apex occurred at UFC 199, when he avenged an earlier career loss to Luke Rockhold and defeated the fighter for the title belt.

He made one successful title defense versus Dan Henderson before losing to Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217 in November 2017.

He retired in 2018 after an eye injury suffered during his last boutβ€”a first-round knockout defeat to Kelvin Gastelum in November 2017β€”forced him out of the Octagon.

The UFC posted a video in honor of Bisping's Hall of Fame honor shortly after the announcement, one that featured commentary from wife Rebecca Bisping, UFC President Dana White and UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier:

UFC @ufc

The Cinderella story is complete! Our first inductee to the #UFCHoF 2019 class - Michael @Bisping πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ @ToyoTires https://t.co/sqKS7FC0fF

Positive reaction also poured in for Bisping soon after the announcement from numerous analysts, including Ariel Helwani and Brett Okamoto of ESPN and Marc Raimondi of MMA Fighting:

Ariel Helwani @arielhelwani

Michael Bisping will be inducted into the UFC HOF this year, per the broadcast. Well deserved, Count.

Brett Okamoto @bokamotoESPN

UFC announcing Michael Bisping will be inducted into the Hall of Fame, very cool place to do it here in London. Well deserved, @bisping! https://t.co/xzV1SY95t2

Marc Raimondi @marc_raimondi

Very few in MMA history have matched Michael Bisping’s in-cage excellence, longevity, consistency and ability to sell a fight on the microphone. Incredible video package by the UFC and a well-deserved Hall of Fame honor. https://t.co/If620N03Vs

Bisping also got some love from fellow fighters, including Gastelum and BJ Penn:

#OnAmission4Gold @KelvinGastelum

1 of the best to ever step in the octagon. An honor to have shared the octagon. Congratulations Michael on a more than deserving induction. Perseverance and determination = @bisping

BJ Penn @bjpenndotcom

Congratulations on being inducted to the @ufc Hall Of Fame @bisping! A much deserved honor πŸ‘πŸΌ #Warrior

The only British winner of a UFC title offered his own reaction (warning: video contains profanity) at UFC Fight Night: Till vs. Masvidal, which is taking place in London on Saturday:

UFC @ufc

"Those ***********ers..." Same ol' Michael @Bisping πŸ˜‚ #UFCLondon https://t.co/TKtsG35pC8

Bisping is currently working as an ESPN MMA analyst and color commentator.

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