Michael Bisping has revealed that he suffered a painful injury to his ribs just one week out from his UFC 217 clash with Georges St-Pierre.
Of course, the fight would end in a third-round submission victory for the legendary GSP – leaving the story of the Canadian’s incredible return to glory as the headline for those reading the news on Sunday morning.
However, according to the now-retired Englishman Michael Bisping, what actually happened behind the scenes was far more impactful than most realise.
Speaking to MMA Junkie in a recent interview, the former UFC middleweight champion of the world described how a fight-week injury sustained to his ribs completely threw his preparations and in his own words, his eventual performance, off course.
“Well, I know for a fact I could wipe the floor with Georges St-Pierre, so I’d like to do that one again.
“I tore my ribs a week before that fight; it’s all in the book.
“I didn’t break them. I tore the cartilage. I couldn’t move very well.”
“I sneaked in a needle full of lidocaine, and I was going to, in the toilets, inject myself with lidocaine into the rib, which would numb the rib so I wouldn’t have any pain.
“Because it’s not a banned substance from USADA, I could have gone to the commission and said, ‘Hey, I want to inject myself with lidocaine.’ That wouldn’t have been the issue. But the fact that I had an injury, they might have pulled me from the fight.
“But then my doctor said, ‘You’ve got to be careful, because if you inject yourself with lidocaine in the rib and you get it slightly wrong, you could puncture your lung and die.’ So I had it all in the bag, and I was going to FaceTime my doctor, on the toilet while the commission members were outside, and he was going to talk me through injecting myself with lidocaine.
“But when I got there I’m like, ‘This is too much, bollocks to it.’ So I just went out there and fought injured. Everyone was saying, ‘You weren’t moving too well.’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, no s**t!’ My ribs were seriously messed up!” (via BJPenn)
The fight stood as the last of St-Pierre’s career to date as well as the penultimate outing for Bisping – who retired from the sport upon losing by first-round KO to Kelvin Gastelum just three weeks later at UFC Shanghai.
Bisping was recently inducted into the UFC Hall Of Fame after a truly memorable career that saw him defy the odds in one of the greatest underdog stories the sport has ever known.
It’s unlikely that he’ll ever get a second crack at his fellow legend GSP but even still, this little tidbit of information certain adds another layer to what has already become a legendary night for the sport.