"All I was concerned about was my career and fighting. This defines me as a person. It is what I do. I've come to a point now where I've been in the UFC for a long time but I still haven't had a title shot. I still haven't been a world champion. I still feel like I've got a lot to prove in the sport. Because I've been around a while, I'm towards the higher end of the pay scale as well. It's my career, it's my job. That's what I do. I just bought a house. I was like, 'Shit, is this where it ends?'"

And if the rest of the Middleweight roster thinks Bisping will come back hesitant and gun shy once he returns to the Octagon, think again, because "The Count" plans to come out guns blazing when he gets the green light.

The circumstance, and time off, has made him hungrier than before.

He explains:

"In some ways, this is going to be best thing to happen to me. I know it sounds like a cliche, but I had my career almost taken away, and it made me realize how much I still have left to achieve in this sport. If time was called on my career right now, I wouldn't be happy with what I achieved. Yes, I get some notoriety and put some dollars in my bank account and whatever, but I want a lot more out of it than that. I want to stabilize my future and my children's future as well. So this has really made me even hungrier than ever."