Strap yourselves in because the UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping has a helluva tale to tell.
“We jumped on and it was like, me and my daughter I think on the paddleboard, and then in the kayak was my wife, my son, and Kendall Grove’s sister in law,” Bisping said. “So we go off and we get to the cliff, long story short, we did some cliff jumping and that was all well and good [but] the wind is picking up, so we better get back.
“So we started heading off and it’s me and my daughter on the paddleboard, and listen, balancing on a paddleboard is not my forte let me just tell you that—especially when the winds are blowing like crazy. So we are trying to swim, sorry paddle, our way back and we’re getting nowhere because of the wind, but they are in a kayak so they leave, everyone is gone. We are pretty far out in the ocean, I’m not going to lie and this cliff was, I dunno, 2-300 meters away from us and we’re like drifting further out and I’m like ‘holy sh*t’.
“I don’t want to say anything to my daughter, but I’m starting to panic a bit, you know what I mean? And we’re getting nowhere and I’m starting to panic and getting nowhere so I think, right, because we were weighing down the paddleboard and were going under just a little bit, so I thought I’d get off the paddleboard and try and pull [us along]. So I jumped off, my daughter was on the paddleboard and we are drifting further and further out to sea and I’m starting to panic and we’re getting nowhere and 15-minutes pass and we’re in the exact same position.”
With panic starting to set in, Bisping’s life flashed before his eyes… well no, not really, but things started to get a little dicey to say the least.
“Time passed and I was like [thinking] ‘Why is nobody coming to help us’ and I’m beginning to get stressed,” Bisping said. “So I think we’re going to like die and we’re like out there, the wind is picking up and getting worse and I’m thinking like, ‘Sh*t.’ My daughter is completely oblivious to it and I’m thinking where is everybody? Where is the lifeguard? Where is the knight in shining armor?
“So I’m like swimming and swimming, and then to top it off, to make matters worse in the distance I hear, ‘Help, help’ and I look round and I see some arms flailing about in the water, not too far away from us. I hear ‘Help, help’ and I think ‘Oh sh*t.’ I’m about to die as it is, you know what I mean?”
With his problems mounting up by the minute, the UFC middleweight champion disregarded his own safety and went to help out the lady in predicament.
“So I swim over, it’s an old lady and she’s massively overweight,” Bisping said. “She’s got a snorkel around her head and I’m thinking, ‘What the f*ck are you doing out here?’. No life jacket, no boat, no nothing and she’s drowning. So I bring her over, she grabs onto the paddleboard right, and as I was saying, we’re already drifting out to sea and now we have, with the greatest respect, an overweight old lady clutching the back of the paddleboard and that’s bad enough. Now there’s three of us and she says, ‘My friend, you’ve got to save my friend, my cousin’. So I look over there and there’s another old lady flailing her arms in the air so I’m like, ‘For f*cks sake, this is ridiculous.’
“I swim over, I kinda get her, get her onto the paddleboard and my daughter comes over and the next minute, with the greatest of respect, we’ve got these two very heavily set old ladies clutching onto the paddleboard and we’re like drifting. So I’m like, ‘Listen, listen, if you’re going to hang on to the paddleboard you’re going to have to at least kick your legs, ok?’ Because in my mind the first priority is me and my god damn daughter—not these two idiots. Listen, if we’re going to go down, don’t make me choose, don’t make me choose because it’s an easy choice because it’s me and my daughter. They’re still hanging on and the thing is like capsizing and overturning and I’m like, ‘For f*cks sake.’”
With the two ladies now safe from immediate danger, Bisping now had the trouble of getting them all back to shore safely.
“So they all climb on the paddleboard,” Bisping said. “There’s three people on the paddleboard and I’m in the water, trying to swim along and save them and we’re getting nowhere. Anyway, eventually Kendall’s sister, who’s a professional water polo player by the way so she’s good in the water, her and a lifeguard turn up in a boat, in a kayak so I should say. They all climb into that and Kendall’s sister, she gets on the paddleboard with daughter and they disappear. They two old ladies disappear in a boat and me being the macho meathead said, ‘Yeah, yeah I’m fine, I’ll swim back because there’s no room me.’
“They all disappear and go off into the distance and I’m thinking, ‘I don’t f*cking believe this, me and my ego.’ Rather than just say, ‘Yes I need help also’ I’m going to drown in the water now. They disappear into the distance and I’m still out in the f*cking water. Anyway, eventually the lifeguard came back and saved me as well.
“I get back and the old ladies are there and they say, ‘Thank you so much,’ and I’m like, ‘Oh no problem,’ but then they say, ‘Oh there was a third one,’ and I’m like, ‘What do you mean there was a third one?’ They said, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah she had flippers on.’ So I’m like, ‘Oh she will be ok if she had flipped on,’ but then they say, ‘No, her flippers have washed up to shore, but she hasn’t.’ So I’m like, ‘Oh god.’
Thankfully, the story did have a happy ending.
“We call 911 and then she came walking up,” Bisping said. “God knows where she was I think she was getting coffee or an ice cream or something.”