Tim Kennedy really doesn't like Yoel Romero.
Romero has been in the news recently for failing a USADA test, being suspended for two years, and subsequently having that suspension changed to 6 months by arguing that his positive test was the result of a tainted supplement he was taking. Kennedy has been outspoken about Romero for some time now, and during an interview with MMA Underground, Romero's name was never far from the conversation.
"When people ask me ‘did you leave because of that controversial loss to Yoel Romero?' I'm like, yeah that sucked and that was ridiculous and horrific and that guy should never be allowed to fight again. But no. It's a business."
Kennedy's last fight came in September 2014, a controversial knockout loss to Yoel Romero. Late in the second round, Kennedy badly hurt Romero with punches leaving him staggering back to his corner. Between rounds, Romero stayed sitting on his stool long after the round should have started, gaining himself extra time to recover from being seriously rocked. When the third round finally started, Romero came back and forced a stoppage, knocking Kennedy out one minute into the round.
In the aftermath of that debacle, Kennedy was very vocal in his displeasure, calling Romero a cheater and taking swipes at everybody involved. Time has not softened his stance it seems. When the topic of Romero's recent suspension and reduction by USADA came up, Kennedy was quick to jump on it.
"Yeah so at what point did we forget that this guy is a cheater? He's cheated in every single fight he's ever been in in the UFC. Every fight. You go back and look at every fight he's ever been in he's cheated. Then we find out he's cheating by having stuff in his body that he's not supposed to have. We know that it's in there and that he's not supposed to have it. And they say okay buddy, you just cheated, like you've been cheating, and now we are going to take him at his word that supplements, that he supplied, he didn't cheat in what they put in there?
"Every single possibility, whether he added them himself or that he knew that they were in there. The fight camp that he's part of, you don't think that they have a system for how to beat these and about how to get suspensions reduced? How to have supplements that they know are dirty? Or they buy supplements and then put stuff that they know would fail the test. They're cheaters. They cheat. That's what he has always done.
"This absolute, 100 percent, fits his M.O. No surprise to me. He's a cheater. And the fact that they are still even considering him a contender is a disgrace to the promotion. And the sport."
Kennedy's views on Romero are nothing new and, as being the loquacious person that he is, are widely known. Interestingly though, Kennedy's opposition to him did not prevent Romero from being recently invited to Jackson-Winklejohn, Kennedy's long time fight team, to help Jon Jones prepare for his UFC 197 bout against Ovince Saint Preux. Though he can admit that Romero may be a good person to bring in to prep for the athletic prowess of Saint Preux, Kennedy is still not thrilled with the decision.
"I think it's a bummer and I think it's kind of disrespectful to Derek [Brunson, also a Jackson-Winklejohn fighter and outspoken opponent of Romero] and I because Yoel cheated in Derek's fight. He cheated in my fight. He cheated after our fights and he was probably cheating before our fights. I 100 percent believe that Yoel Romereo has been on steroids his entire career in the UFC if not even in the Olympics. And it's a bummer that he's at Jackson's with Jon right now."
While Romero is there at the moment, there is no indication that he will be staying long. And with his newly reduced suspension, Romero is eligible to fight near mid July meaning we will possibly see him back in the octagon soon. When that happens, Kennedy is interested in being the one to welcome him back.
"Yoel Romero is gonna come off his suspension early. In July. That's interesting. It's disgusting. He should be suspended for life. And I've got to figure out if I'm going to fight him, can we get them not to give him stools or bags of ice or Vaseline or any other apparatus that he could cheat with? Because pretty much anytime you hand him something he's going to cheat with it....So that would be an intriguing fight."
While Kennedy is the most vociferous about Romero, his fight wishlist also includes several other fighters connected with or accused of PED use, including Vitor Belfort and Anderson Silva. But mostly he just wants to get back in the cage to prove he is the best in the world. Kennedy recently made an offer to fight Dan Henderson on short notice when Lyoto Machida was withdrawn for a pre-fight USADA violation and though he didn't get that fight he made it clear he is ready to fight whenever.
'I'll fight tomorrow. If you're gonna have a middleweight fighter or even a light heavyweight fighter that's maybe gonna get injured, coming off the card. Watch for my name popping up.'
You can watch the entire interview below.
** This interview was conducted by Jonathan Shrager. You can follow him on Twitter at @JonathanShrager.
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I'm not mad. I'm just disappointed. Rashad Evans spoke on his disappointment at not getting the Jones rematch.
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EXTRA CREDIT READING
Immortal technique. Jack Slack of Vice.com knows an awful lot about fighting. Here he dissects the striking of Glover Texeira and Rashad Evans.
Tune ups. At Bleacher Report, top shelf MMA writers,Patrick Wyman and Chad Dundas discuss whether ring rust will be a factor in the returns of Khabib Nurmagomedov and Jon Jones.
Papakha. Karim Zidan of BloodyElbow.com discusses the heritage behind Khabib Nurmagomedov's papakha, the yellow afro-esque hat he wears at weigh-ins and before fights.
Here's a special sneak peek an interview with Matt Mitrione which will be on Inside MMA on AXS TV tonight at 10 PM ET. They'll be talking about the business of MMA. Miles Jury, Andrew Simon, Ed Soares, and Mike Winkeljohn will also be on so you should definitely check it out.
Weidman and Gian Villante cracking jokes.
Tecia Torres thinks the winner of her bout with Rose Namajunas will get a title shot. Either woman would definitely deserve it.
I feel like Mike Jackson would make an excellent sideline reporter.
Sage talking about training with Tri-Star and his growth as a fighter.
Great interview with Ian McCall. Such a self-aware guy who has had a rough go of things. You feel for him when you hear how he views his career.
Cyborg and Derrick Lewis are the highlights.
Talking PEDS and Mayweather getting into the MMA promotion game.
Derrick Lewis jumping in on the recent USADA happenings.
How stupid you have to be to take banned substance knowing they will randomly test you. Insecure bitches— Derrick Lewis (@Thebeast_ufc) April 14, 2016
Roy Nelson responded to Derrick Lewis's tweet from yesterday and apparently is up for it.
Kyle Kingsbury weighs in on the Machida situation.
Let's clear the air on @lyotomachidafw "PED" use. DHEA does little to nothing for performance. It shouldn't be banned and wasn't last year.— Kyle Kingsbury (@Kingsbu) April 14, 2016
Ronda, Weidman, and Uncle Lorenzo at the signing of the bill legalizing MMA in New York.
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I bet it does.
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Bellator's production is definitely on the rise. Here's hoping people understand who Alessio Sakara is.
Not being a show about aliens is such a missed opportunity.
It appears RDA is back and ready for 200.
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Dan Henderson (31-14-0) vs. Hector Lombard (34-5-1); UFC 199, June 4.
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
2010: Bellator 14 took place at the Chicago Theatre in Chicago, Illinois. The event featured the debuts of future Bellator champions Pat Curran and Ben Askren. In his featherweight quarterfinal bout, Curran slept Mike Ricci with punches in the first round. In his welterweight quarterfinal bout, Askren won a controversial victory over Ryan Thomas. Referee David Smith stopped the bout while Thomas was caught in a guillotine choke despite the fact that Thomas never tapped nor went out.
2006: UFC 59 was held at Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, California. At the event Tim Sylvia knocked out Andrei Arlovski to reclaim the UFC heavyweight title. Also featured was a light heavyweight fight between Tito Ortiz and Forrest Griffin which was named 2006 Fight of the Year.
UFC 59 also had the last professional win of former UFC middleweight champion Evan Tanner's career. He defeated Justin Levens by triangle choke in the first round.
1990: Bellator featherweight Gabrielle Holloway was born.
1984: Bellator lightweight Magomed Saadulaev was born.
1982: UFC middleweight Leonardo Guimaraes was born.
1967: UFC and Pride veteran and the only ever Shooto light heavyweight champion, Enson Inoue was born.
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