Michael Bisping explains emotional response to Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s retirement
"I was almost in tears."
Michael Bisping explained his emotional response following Joanna Jedrzejczyk's retirement after she was defeated by Weili Zhang at UFC 275 on Saturday night.
The former UFC Strawweight champion retired after 21 professional MMA fights, which included five defenses of her title.
Michael Bisping discusses Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s retirement.
Bisping revealed Joanna's retirement announcement made him "very emotional" due to how influential she had been in the sport of MMA.
The former middleweight champion described Joanna as "a star for the UFC" and an inspiration for female martial artists.
“Joanna Jedrzejczyk retired in the octagon and I was getting very emotional,” Bisping said on his YouTube channel.
“It was incredible. What Joanna has done for this sport, what she has given to this sport, she came here, she’s been in so many entertaining fights, she’s given her heart and soul, she’s talked a lot of s*** along the way, she’s made a lot of money, she’s knocked a lot of people out.
"She has been a star for the UFC and she has inspired so many female martial artists around the planet."
Bisping recalls pre-fight conversation with Joanna.
Bisping revealed a conversation he had with Joanna before her fight in Singapore, where she answered "maybe" about retiring if she lost at UFC 275.
The 43-year-old said he got emotional due to how a fighter leaves "a piece of their being" in the octagon when they retire.
“I asked her beforehand, ‘Joanna, no disrespect, but if you lose this fight, what happens? Are you going to retire?’ And she paused. It went quiet and she thought about it for a long time and she said, ‘Maybe'," Bisping added.
"When someone says that it probably means that they will, and she did. She decided to hang it up, she took her gloves off and put them down on the canvas, and I was emotional.
"I was almost in tears, because to see a fighter, what they give of themselves, they give a piece of their soul, a piece of their being, they leave it in the octagon."
Joanna retired from MMA with the highest win streak in women's strawweight history in the UFC, winning eight fights in a row.
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