Bisping was born on a British military base in Nicosia, Cyprus, and grew up in Clitheroe, Lancashire. His Polish paternal grandfather, Andrew (Andrzej), fled with his family from Poland to England after the German invasion in 1939. The Bisping family is of noble descent in Poland. Bisping’s father Jan was in the British Army, while his mother is Irish. He began training Jujutsu at the age of eight. In 1994, at the age of 15, he competed as an amateur in Britain’s first “no holds barred” competition, a precursor to modern MMA, called Knock Down Sport Budo (KSBO).
At the age of 18, Bisping decided to abandon his martial arts training “to pursue real life”. Less than a year later, Bisping began training in boxing, kickboxing, and karate on the advice of Allan Clarkin, owner of Black Knights Kickboxing, who saw potential in him. Bisping enjoyed a short but successful kickboxing career, winning the North West Area title and later the Pro British light heavyweight kickboxing title. After again briefly quitting competition in 1998, Bisping returned to kickboxing to take the Pro British light heavyweight title for a second time. Soon after winning his second kickboxing title, he was forced to abandon his full-time training for a “real job”. He worked at factories, slaughterhouses, and demolition companies; he was an upholsterer, postman, tiler, plasterer, and salesman.