May 29 (UPI) -- Former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping has announced his retirement from mixed martial arts.
Bisping, 39, made the announcement Monday on his Believe You Me podcast.
"The Count" posted a 31-9 career record in UFC. The 6-foot-1, 185-pounder from Manchester, England last fought in UFC Fight Night on Nov. 25, losing to Kelvin Gastelum in the first round.
"I am going to announce my official retirement from mixed martial arts. It has been a long journey," Bisping said. "In 2003, I started training. So 15 years as a professional fighter, 12 or 13 years in UFC. You know, you can't do it forever. Done it for a long time of course."
"I've got issues with my eye. After the Gastelum fight, then I started having issues with my good eye, which I have never spoken about before."
Bisping said he went to a party at a club after the fight. He started seeing flashes of light out of the corner of his "good eye." He went to a doctor, who told him that he had a vitreous detachment.
He tried to get into another fight against the advice of several advisers.
"I just thought, it ain't worth it," Bisping said. "I mean, what else am I going to do? I have won the belt. I've got 200 wins. I did everything I set out to achieve. What's the point of flogging a dead horse? Not that I'm a dead horse, but what's the point? I've done everything I've set out to achieve. I've used my platform to open other doors. You've got to know when to walk away. I'm almost 40 years old -- the time is now."
Bisping's agent Audie Attar issued a statement on the retirement Monday.
"Congrats to Michael on a Hall of Fame career," Attar said. "'The Ultimate Fighter' winner, two-time 'Ultimate fighter' coach, winningest fighter in UFC history and first British UFC Champion in history. I've been honored to work with Michael toward the championship years and have watched him fight through trials and tribulations as he was a perennial title contender, ultimately reaching the sport's greatest achievement by winning a UFC championship."
"Through all that, he has achieved the one thing I'm most proud of - how hard he fought for his family's future, risking his life on the line each time he stepped into the octagon. I am proud to call Michael a client, but more importantly a dear friend. Now it's time for Michael to achieve greatness in the next phase of his professional career. The future looks bright, Mr. Bisping. Thank you for all that you've done for our sport!"
Utterly blown away by all the beautiful messages regarding my retirement. I have so many people I need to thanks but right now, thank you for the kind words. I should retire more often 😂😂😂— michael (@bisping) May 29, 2018
Bisping was gracious for the farewell wishes he received Tuesday on social media.
"Utterly blown away by all the beautiful messages regarding my retirement," Bisping tweeted. "I have so many people I need to thanks but right now, thank you for the kind words. I should retire more often."