UFC legend Michael Bisping believes there’s ‘no place like Manchester’ ahead of homecoming tour

Former UFC champion Micheal Bisping is excited to be coming back to Manchester this December as part of his ‘Tales from the Octagon 2’ tour – revealing “my accent changes within minutes of landing“.

Following a successful tour in 2021, ‘Tales from the Octagon’, a tell-all evening with Clitheroe’s Michael Bisping returns to the 02 Apollo.

The former champion revealed that – despite a storied 39-fight career which saw him become UFC champion with just one eye – walking out for ‘Tales from the Octagon’ is what scared him most.

Bisping said: “The last tour was phenomenal, it was a great night but I was very very nervous going into it.”

However, once he was up on stage Bisping realised how much he loved being on tour and noted that his Manchester homecoming was particularly special.

“The crowd was absolutely fantastic and the highlight was Manchester at the Apollo. It was absolutely packed I think there were 3,500 people there and it was an incredible evening,” the 44-year-old said.

Bisping, who lives with his family in California, is relishing the opportunity to come home for the tour.   

He said: “We have a good life here, I’m not going to lie. But it’s not quite the same, the people aren’t as warm, the people certainly aren’t as funny,

“I love coming back up north. Whenever I come back, I truly feel like I can be myself, my accent changes within minutes of landing so yeah, always good to be home. No place like Manchester.”

Bisping has proudly represented the United Kingdom throughout his ‘colourful life’

Despite rumours that the UFC will return to London in April, Bisping hopes that the organisation will soon venture outside of the capital when putting on shows in the UK.

He said: “I love the fact that they come to London, it’s such a great city and the 02 Arena is an incredible venue, but I would like to see them going up and down the country more.”

With ‘The Count’ having perhaps his career-best moment in Manchester as he defended his new middleweight championship against long-term rival Dan Henderson, he is calling for the UFC to return to his home city.

“Manchester, I want to see that for sure, I mean I’ve had so many great evenings at the MEN. Hopefully, the UFC will be coming up north soon,” said Bisping.

On tour, Bisping will be joined by Atherton’s Tom Aspinall – who fights to become interim heavyweight champion this weekend – and Scotland’s Light heavyweight contender Paul Craig.

He said: “I have led a colourful life, but there are other people in Mixed Martial Arts. So, I thought about it, and I thought Tom Aspinall, he’s perfect because he’s going to be heavyweight champion.

Then of course there’s Paul Craig, he’s absolutely hilarious, so it was a no-brainer really to bring them two on.”

Tom Aspinall faces Sergei Pavlovich to become Britain’s first UFC heavyweight champion on Sunday morning.

As well as Aspinall and Craig, Bisping teased that fans can expect some surprise guests to join the trio on stage during the night.

“I am working on a couple of surprise guests, which I won’t say or they won’t be surprises, but we’ve had some great talent come from Manchester so I’ve reached out to a couple of people,” he said.

Later that evening, fellow Brit Leon Edwards – current UFC welterweight champion – defends his title against American Colby Covington in Las Vegas.

Whilst the search has already begun for a venue to host an afterparty for those at Tales from the Octagon to watch the fight with Bisping, nothing has been confirmed.

Therefore, the former champ has issued a call to arms for the nightlife venues of Manchester,

Bisping said: “If there’s any establishment that wants to volunteer their services for an official afterparty for Tales from the Octagon 2 where we can come, we can all have a drink, we can celebrate and all hopefully watch Leon defend the crown, then we’re open to suggestions.

“We want a venue, we’ll come, we’ll pack it out, people will be drinking, they’ll make a s*** tonne of money and we’ll get to celebrate.”

‘Tales from the Octagon 2’ comes to Manchester on December 16, with tickets for the evening available from Myticket.co.uk.

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