HE is currently in Thailand filming an action series for Sky One and will appear in two movies this year, but for Michael Bisping his return to UFC in April will always be his priority.
The Clitheroe fighter has been given the go-ahead to make his return to the sport following a detached retina, and will take on American Tim Kennedy in a middleweight bout in Quebec City in Canada on April 16.
Bisping admits he feared his UFC career could be over when he suffered a recurrence of his eye injury in September, ruling him out of a scheduled bout against Mark Munoz in Manchester.
But after using the time off to further his acting career as an action star, he is combining filming in Thailand with preparing for the Kennedy bout.
“I was very worried that it could be the end of my career,” Bisping said.
“I had to do some soul-searching about what I was going to do next.
“I had to give it time to heal and then do some tests with the UFC, and thankfully last week I was given the go ahead to return. That was such a massive relief.
“It has given me a chance to do a few things, I’ve done a couple of movies – I did one called The Anomaly, which is out in May – and some television work.
“I’m in Thailand now for three weeks to film a television show called Strike Back.
“Obviously Thailand is the home of Thai boxing so I’m training while I’m out here.
“I do enjoy the acting but UFC will always be my number one priority. It’s what I love doing.”
Bisping had been hoping victory over Munoz in Manchester would set up a world title challenge, but now believes the Kennedy bout can similarly act as a stepping stone.
“I had been so looking forward to fighting in Manchester,” said the 34-year-old.
“I had a detached retina in the past and they said it would never happen again but unfortunately it did.
“It was painful and obviously your vision is affected. My eyesight isn’t too great but I’ve got one good eye and thankfully I’m able to carry on in the sport that I love.
“It’s a big year for me because after this fight I get married, in May in Orange County in California.
“As soon as I win this fight I will be calling out the champion and hopefully by the end of the year I will get that fight for the world title.”