New matchmakers are on the way to the UFC in 2017 and middleweight Tim Kennedy is hopeful they will start rewarding contenders who have earned a title shot. Ever since Michael Bisping won the title from Luke Rockhold everyone has been calling his name. He is arguably the most beatable champion right now – no disrespect intended. It’s just that the caliber of contenders is very high.
Michael is strong in all areas, but there are a select few who pose some serious problems for him. For some reason Strikeforce vets Rockhold and Tim Kennedy gave him fits. In the first Rockhold bout he was submitted and in the Kennedy fight he was outworked and manhandled. Bisping is a great striker and those that stand with him usually lose. It’s stronger opponents with high level ground games that can do him in.
The Ultimate Fighter Nations Finale: Bisping vs. Kennedy happened back in 2014 and the man this article is about trounced Bisping easily by outworking him and overpowering him. Since then Michael has shown improvement but is it really enough to prevent Kennedy from achieving the same result and taking his title?
We are getting ahead of ourselves here.
The long line of contenders for the title seem to be stuck in a holding pattern since he fought an aging Dan Henderson, a possible Nick Diaz fight rumor making its rounds, and GSP resurfacing as a potential opponent have bottle necked the division. Not one middleweight top contender has been mentioned as someone he may face next. That has drawn the ire of the division along with Tim Kennedy.
Here’s what he said to Submission Radio:
The division’s a mess, man. It’s a disaster. It’s anybody’s chance to get that next title fight and everybody wants it because, especially for me, Michael Bisping is the easiest fight in the division. The current champion of the division. If you go down that list, from Chris Weidman, to Jacare, to Luke Rockhold, Derek Brunson – that would be my number two, three, four and five right there. I don’t put Yoel Romero in there because I think he’s a cheater and he shouldn’t even be in the UFC. The Vitor Belforts, the Lyoto Machidas, they’re so past prime, those four guys would walk through them. They’re talking about Nick Diaz coming back to the middleweight division and GSP, who has been out of this sport, maybe in retirement for the past few years, coming back and getting an automatic title shot. The division’s a mess, it’s anybody’s game. What I know is November 12 I’m gonna go fight Rashad, I’m gonna beat him in a very, very clear decisive fashion, and Michael Bisping, he has not wanted to utter my name for the past year. So if he wants to stand there and really be a champion, stop calling out dudes that have been retired for a few years, stop calling out a 47-year-old man. Why don’t you fight a guy that beat the brakes off of you and on November 12 at Madison Square Garden is going to make a huge statement in the division.
Kennedy must win at UFC 205 against Rashad Evans and if he wins this handily does he deserve a title shot or at least a title eliminator opportunity? Tim says he will probably leave if he isn’t placed firmly in the mix for a shot at the 185 pound belt with a victory on November 12 of this year.