Tim Kennedy Victory” src=”http://www.cagepotato.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Tim_Kennedy-e1305905318997.jpg” alt=” width=”500″ height=”333″ />
(Guess if they’re gonna let *somebody* fight Bisping, it might as well be somebody we like.)
When last we heard from Tim Kennedy, he’d just completed the MMA equivalent of sinking a two-foot putt by choking out Melvin Manhoef in Strikeforce, then went public with his lament that he hadn’t been the one to administer an in-home eye exam to Osama bin Laden. Y’all know we’ve always liked Kennedy. Seems like a super cool dude and admittedly there’s something fascinating about a guy whose typical day might just as easily include either choking out a Dutch-Surinamese kickboxer or smoking the world’s top terrorist. Give or take.
It’s exactly that admiration that led us to be a bit disappointed this week when we heard about Kennedy offering to fight Michael Bisping over at MMA Weekly. Calling out Bisping is one of the more played-out moves a well-known middleweight can make, after all. When we saw Kennedy saying it, we assumed it was just another case of a guy trying to make his bones off Bisping’s inflated reputation and general overratedness. Truthfully, there probably is some of that at work here. But then we started digging into Kennedy’s quotes and realized that A) He’s offering to fight “The Count” basically for free (PR bump notwithstanding) and B) He seems driven to do it out of moral obligation, more than anything else. As far as we’re concerned that – as long as he’s not just bullshitting us – is pretty cool.
Kennedy, it turns out, is still kind of pissed about Bisping’s tainted win over friend and Ranger-Up stablemate Jorge Rivera back at UFC 127. He and the Brit have already had words about it on Twitter – yawn – and now that Chael Sonnen has been remanded to purgatory for his all-around untrustworthiness, Kennedy is offering to take his place in any sort of athletic endeavor against Bisping. Preferably one that involves punching him in the face.
“I haven’t lost sight of where I am and who I’m looking at realistically in Strikeforce,” Kenneday says. “I knew that Chael (Sonnen) was going to be in a bad position, and if Chael and Bisping are kind of the No. 1 and 2 guys, and Chael is out, I’ll fight the No. 2 guy in a heartbeat. I know they don’t have anybody lined up for him, so I’ll step up to the plate.”
Now, all that seems like standard boilerplate call-out material, but then Kennedy launches into a stirring indictment of the illegal knee Bisping landed en route to his victory over Rivera and essentially makes the case that he’ll fight the former “TUF” winner to strike a blow for the powers of good and decency against cheaters, liars, swindlers, hustlers, backbiters and evil-doers everywhere.
“I don’t like trash talking, but I hate people that don’t fight fair,” he says. “I hate cheaters. I hate people that use steroids. I hate people that hide their urine samples. I hate people that grease their bodies. I hate people that manipulate judges. I hate it all. Just go out there and fight. It disrespects everything this sport is about …
“He walks away with a win, a TKO, from blasting the dude in the face, illegally. Just drives me insane, like it’s the worse (sic) thing that can happen in the sport. As a fellow athlete, I think somebody has to hold him responsible for that … If the promotion won’t do it, let’s let the other athletes do it.”
In our minds eye, we imagine Kennedy delivering these words from the back of a truck on a makeshift airfield, surrounded by a ragtag band of misfits, as smoke swirls around him and some emotive music plays in the background. You know, like Bill Pullman in Independence Day. Unfortunately, it probably didn’t go down that way, but that doesn’t stop Kennedy from saying if he got to fight Bisping, he’d donate his entire purse to charity.
“Without a moment’s hesitation,” he says. “I love fighting, I love this sport, I love the competition of fighting, and I’m still a military guy through and through. I don’t fight for the money. So my fight purse I would give to a military-based non-profit. I have some in mind. I’m waiting for this fight to happen before I said who it was, but they already know who it would be.”
So, in summation, does calling out Michael Bisping make you look like a guy who’s looking for a winnable fight that will further your career? Yeah, it does. But if you’re absolutely 100 percent committed to calling out Michael Bisping, we guess, this is the way to do it.