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.
5 MUST-READ STORIES
RIP. Ryan Jimmo has reportedly been killed in a hit-and-run.
Crazy stuff. Will Brooks admits he once tried to take his own life.
Lightweight. Georges St. Pierre says he could easily make lightweight for his return.
Bravado. Conor McGregor believes he will toy with Nate Diaz in their rematch.
Franklinweight. Urijah Faber is definitely not retiring, looking for "interesting" fights.
EXTRA CREDIT READING
Middle child. Jordan Breen of Sherdog discusses middleweight's sudden emergence as a marquee division for the UFC.
Just an epic comeback here by Cormier.
Bellator Dynamite post-fight presser.
Conor on a mic. You'll watch.
Some clips of Ali vs. Inoki which happened 40 years ago yesterday.
Buffer and Chiesa.
Gross, and Caraway.
Invicta flyweight Christine Stanley.
Condolences to all those affected by the sudden loss.
#RIP Ryan Jimmo. pic.twitter.com/LBr28MwnZW— Jed I. Goodman (@jedigoodman) June 27, 2016
Hope they find the cowards responsible, too much senseless death this year. #RIPRyanJimmo— Angela Hill (@AngieOverkill) June 27, 2016
Rough ending for Ireland.
Head held high always— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) June 26, 2016
We were like something out of la liga at times out there. And we lumped into tackles too. Hard luck boys#DeservedMore
Will Brooks really isn't trying to talk about his past.
Yes, I will definitely beat Ross Pearson July 8th. https://t.co/GsSIdMQU4z— Will Brooks (@illwillbrooks86) June 25, 2016
Bellator got all of the big stars out.
.@GeorgesStPierre was impressed by her performance! #DYNAMITE2 @ilimanator pic.twitter.com/uUWnCPQvF1— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) June 25, 2016
Herschel is coming for you, Bellator heavies.
Two legends @HerschelWalker & the Wizard @STLWizard #DYNAMITE2 pic.twitter.com/AeTogKf9k2— Scott Coker (@ScottCoker) June 25, 2016
Isn't Hendo's UFC contract up? Maybe Coker wants to belt him up in a seniors division.
Great to have friend @danhendo out tonight #DYNAMITE2 pic.twitter.com/6YzgwH0MvR— Scott Coker (@ScottCoker) June 25, 2016
Cung Le firing shots over the weekend.
It says a lot about Zuffa that rather than investing in athletes they work furiously to prevent us from having more say over our careers.— Cung Le (@CungLe185) June 25, 2016
Welcome to the Roughnecks. Rico's Roughnecks.
Did Rico from Starship Troopers really just put the belt on Mwekassa? pic.twitter.com/lKMQJ0xxO1— caposa (@GrabakaHitman) June 25, 2016
2 M.R. favorites in one picture.
Fun training pic.twitter.com/4xKL2dHOdS— Sage Northcutt (@sagenorthcutt) June 25, 2016
Mark Hunt just seems so likable.
Jessica Eye (11-5-0) vs. Bethe Correia (9-2-0); UFC 203, September 10.
Gesias Cavalcante (20-8-1, 2 NC) vs. Freddy Assuncao (9-1-0); Titan 40, August 5.
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
2015: Yoel Romero blew the doors off Lyoto Machida at UFC Fight Night 70, stopping him with elbows in the third round.
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.