British middleweight Michael Bisping has admitted that his career remains in the balance following surgery to repair a detached retina in his right eye last week.
Bisping was forced to withdraw from his title eliminator with Mark Munoz in Manchester on October 26 after suffering fresh damage to the retina in his right eye, requiring surgery for the second time this year.
The 'Count' has admitted that it will be three months before he can even consider exercising again, conceding that he is still in shock with his current predicament.
He told The MMA Hour: "I'm devastated. I trained so hard for this fight. And not only that, it's hard for the people of Manchester and the people of the U.K. to part ways with their hard-earned money to buy a ticket, so I apologise to all the fans and everybody who bought a ticket."
Bisping has shared that the impact of the injury only truly hit home after a phone call with UFC president Dana White the morning after his emergency procedure.
"He said, 'Yeah, you're not fighting in Manchester.'", Bisping explained. "I was devastated. Then he said, 'You've got a way to go if you're ever going to fight again.'
"Then I was just completely in shock. This is who I am. This is what I do. It defines who I am as a person."
The 34-year-old has been replaced in Manchester's main event by former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida, who will now move down to middleweight to take on Munoz at short notice.