For months, Tim Kennedy tried to pick a fight with Michael Bisping. The insults and playful jabs never stopped, even long after the fight was booked. Yet Kennedy ultimately backed up his words, stifling the Brit like few ever had to pick up a unanimous decision win at Wednesday's TUF Nations Finale.
Though despite the lopsided nature of his victory, afterward Kennedy was less than pleased by his own performance.
"One of my friends was spit on, another one of my friends was illegally kneed on the ground, and I wanted to get a little revenge, so I guess that's a little positive," Kennedy reluctantly said at Wednesday's post-fight press conference.
"But I have a long road to making sure I execute what I'm supposed to do in a fight, which is finish fights. I'm a finisher. I have one of the highest finishing rates in the UFC. Michael Bisping is super tough, but I should've been able to finish him. I'd get to where I supposed to be, like side control, but then I'd stop there and not do damage. I did all this work to get to the ground, to get to side control, pass his guard, and then I'd hang out there."
While Bisping struggled to find his rhythm throughout the five-round contest, Kennedy scored takedowns early and often, controlling the distance and even outstriking Bisping by a margin of 76 to 53, according to FightMetric.
The win ultimately proved to be the biggest of Kennedy's career, as despite Bisping's year-long layoff due to injury, the polarizing Brit remains a top-5 ranked foe and one the division's marquee names.
Kennedy, however, spared little time to rest of his laurels. Less than an hour after his triumph, the 34-year-old was already thinking about what was next.
"Mark Munoz, (Gegard) Mousasi, they're right around me. They have a fight coming up. That's a big fight," Kennedy said. "Unfortunately both of my Strikeforce guys (Luke Rockhold and Jacare Souza) are in the same kind of rankings [situation] as I am.
"I already fought both of them. I want to keep fighting marquee UFC guys. So Mark Munoz, if he beats Mousasi, that'd be a great fight for me. I don't know. I'm going to start calling guys out on Twitter in about five days."
Munoz and Mousasi are scheduled to meet on May 31 for the UFC's inaugural trip to Berlin, Germany. Although should he get his matchmaking wish, the extra time off may prove to be a boon to Kennedy, as the veteran failed to come away unscathed from Wednesday night.
"I think I broke my hand in the first round," Kennedy said. "I'll get an x-ray tomorrow. I kind of had to stop being a p*ssy in the second round, like, ah, my right hand really hurts... screw it, I'll just hit him with it. So the second round was me just not being a p*ssy and just getting my sh*t together and starting hitting him again. We'll find out tomorrow."