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Alexander Volkanovski isn’t buying Jeremy Kennedy’s ‘bad guy’ persona

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Alexander Volkanovski is on a mission to rid the UFC world of “bad guys”, but he isn’t buying UFC 221 opponent Jeremy Kennedy’s shtick.

“The Great” has made no secret of his disdain for his mouthy counterparts on the roster and explained how trash talking bores him.

“Everyone is doing the whole talking sh*t kind of thing and it just bores me now,” he told Ariel Helwani on the latest episode of The MMA Hour.

“I know, I get it, it’s entertaining, some of the guys are really good at it, but now everyone is trying to do it. I literally cringe every time I see someone trying to trash talk. Some people just don’t have it and they try, and I find that funny.

“I’ve always been a respectful kind of guy. No one is really playing the good guy, but if they want to play the bad guy, I’m ready to play the super hero and take these guys out.”

Perhaps in an effort to goad Volkanovski, Kennedy has referred to himself as the “bad guy” on a few occasions in the lead up to the featherweight showdown, but Volkanovski thinks his “innocent little smile” points to the contrary.

“It’s funny because we have Jeremy — and I don’t want to offend anyone by saying this but I’ve heard that Canadians are meant to be nice — he’s hash-tagging ‘bad guy’ and all of this,” he said.

“He’s got his little innocent smile and stuff like that and I’m like, ‘Come on, man, you ain’t no bad guy.’ Again, if he wants to play the bad guy, I’ll happy to put one on his chin.”

He continued: “He’s done it a couple of times — hash tag ‘bad guy’ — but I think it’s funny. Again, I’ll look at it and be like, ‘I don’t know, you look to nice’.”

The bad guy ✈️

A post shared by JBC (@jeremykennedy145) on

Now 3-0 under the UFC banner, Volkanovski knows he will have a tough test in Perth on Saturday when he takes on the unbeaten British Columbia native. He sees a lot of his own game in Kennedy’s fighting style, but is confident that he has more in his arsenal that his adversary.

“He’s good, he’s a grinder, that’s always a tough fight. I think of myself as a grinder so I know I can mentally break people and that’s what he likes to do, but that’s why I’m a bad matchup for him,” he explained.

“I think that’s his only option. I wouldn’t say that’s all he’s got, but I know he likes to cling on once he hangs on, drag you down and hold you down. But he’s gonna have a hard time trying to get me down and if he does I’m gonna get back up. I’m known to have pretty heavy hands, so he’s got a lot more to worry about than just having a good gas tank and trying to hold someone down.

“I don’t say that with any disrespect, I just think I’ve got more tools.”