It's official, every fighter in the UFC's middleweight division has called out Michael Bisping.
After winning the UFC middleweight title from Luke Rockhold in a stunning upset at UFC 199, Michael Bisping's name has been on the tip of every middleweight contender's tongue. Jacare Souza, Luke Rockhold, Chris Weidman, Anderson Silva, Georges St. Pierre, Yoel Romero, and Dan Henderson have all called out the new champion to varying degrees of fan interest. Well now one more man is piling on. Saturday, Tim Kennedy answered some questions during a Facebook live video, including some thoughts on Bisping becoming the champion.
"What do I think of Bisping winning the title? [Laughs]. Yeah, so Michael Bisping is the current champion in my weight class. You guys know I beat the brakes off him for 25 minutes, pretty much effortlessly," Kennedy said.
"It's funny because he's calling out very specific people and my name is not ever coming out of his mouth. For obvious reasons because I could do it again. I could do it tomorrow. I train all the time, but I could seriously destroy Michael Bisping in a matter of minutes if I wanted to."
Bisping and Kennedy fought in April of 2014 with Kennedy taking a dominant decision victory over 5 rounds. Since that victory, their careers have taken very different roads. Kennedy has only fought once since then, a contentious loss to Yoel Romero. In the bout, Kennedy had Romero in serious trouble at the end of the third round and Romero was given extra time to recover between rounds when his corner wouldn't leave the cage. Meanwhile, Bisping has won 5 of 6 since then and captured the middleweight title, avenging his most recent loss in the process. Despite Bisping's recent success though, Kennedy believes he would beat him again, in part because he was taking it easy on Bisping the first time.
"The last time with fought I didn't like him - I still don't like him - and I really wanted to make a point to bloody him up. One of my coaches was like, ‘why didn't you just finish him? Why didn't you just choke him out? Why didn't you make him tap?' Because I didn't want to. I wanted to put him on his back and punch him in the face for 25 minutes. So that's what I think about Michael Bisping," Kennedy said.
Kennedy is almost certainly not going to be the recipient of the next middleweight title shot. However, he is apparently set to return to action later this year. When asked about his upcoming schedule, Kennedy detailed a hectic next 5 months wherein he would be travelling for non-fighting obligations before returning to the cage sometime in November.
"I don't have a day off until November...I leave tomorrow. I'll be gone for 10 days. I'll be back for 6 hours to change out bags and then I go to South America for 80 days. Then I come back and the same day that I come back I grab different bags and I go to Albuquerque, New Mexico to start training for my fight camp for my next UFC fight. So then my next UFC fight happens and then I'll have Thanksgiving," Kennedy said.
Assuming Kennedy's timetables are accurate, that puts him beginning his fight camp around the 23rd or 24th of September. A brief 7-week fight camp would then put Kennedy on the scheduled UFC show in New York on Nov. 12, two weeks before Thanksgiving. This is purely speculation though because Kennedy remained mum on who, when, or where he was fighting saying he couldn't tell until the UFC released the information. Kennedy has previously campaigned for fights with Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort, men who are both currently without opponents scheduled, so perhaps one of those fights is in the making.
Regardless, come September, Tim Kennedy will have been out of the cage for two full years. His return will be a welcome gift to his fans and is sure to shake up an already chaotic middleweight division.
Here is the clip.
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TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
2008: Josh Thomson defeated Gilbert Melendez by unanimous decision to become the Strikeforce lightweight champion. Also at the event, future promotional women's bantamweight champion Miesha Tate made her promotional debut winning a unanimous decision over Elaina Maxwell
And so another week begins M.Rmy. If you're having a case of the Mondays remember, you could be Joe Schilling or Patricky Freire who probably still have headaches. And also remember, if you see any spectacular KO's, slick submissions, or just anything cool and MMA related give me a shout on Twitter.
Until tomorrow, be easy.
If you find something you'd like to see in the Morning Report, just hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it.