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DGS Main Event MMA Comeback of the Year: Michael Bisping

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Did you ever think we would hear, “And NEW UFC Middleweight champion…Michael Bisping!!”?

After 20 years in the UFC, it finally happened when Bisping was given the opportunity of a lifetime to face former UFC Middleweight champ Luke Rockhold at UFC 199. Rockhold was originally slated to rematch former champ Chris Weidman on the June pay-per-view when Weidman was forced to withdraw due to injury, giving Bisping, who was on a three-fight win streak, a shot at UFC gold.

This was The Ultimate Fighter: Season 3 winners chance to not only get the 185-pound gold strap on his shoulder, but to avenge his loss to Rockhold from 2014. Rockhold submitted Bisping less than a minute into the second round of the November fight night main event. But most of all, to prove to the world that he IS the world champion status he has been trying to reach in his two-decades of professional fighting.

After KOing Rockhold in the first round and becoming champion, it was time for Bisping to avenge another loss on his record. The iconic knockout by Dan Henderson at UFC 100 in 2009, which is basically impossible to see any UFC promo without it featuring the H-bomb that would forever haunt Bisping.

Middleweight rankings aside (Henderson was ranked #15 at 185-pounds), the fans want what the fans want. Bisping’s first title defense would be set for the main event of UFC 204 in Manchester, England in October.

After a five-round war, Bisping picked up a unanimous decision victory and fight of the night honors. In the words of Henderson, who made UFC 204 his final battle in the octagon, Bisping should be grateful decisions aren’t determined based off of facial damage. Henderson walked out of the octagon with little-to-no damage, while Bisping  looked like his face ended up in a blender. But controversy aside, Bisping retained his championship status and closed out 2016 as champion.

Going from not even being considered for a title shot to winning the belt, and successfully defending it, Bisping is by far the come back of the year. Also to add, he has partnered up with UFC Featherweight Cub Swanson in owning their own UFC Gym franchise in Costa Mesa, California and has secured himself with a successful position as commentator on UFC Tonight on FS1.

While 2016 may of been harsh to some, it was definitely not a bad year to be Michael Bisping.

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Kristine is a Managing Editor for as well as UFC/MMA Lead Writer. She also hosts a column known as Fighting Words.

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