UFC president Dana White has said he's all for fighters stepping up and calling out whom they want their next opponent to be. If that is indeed true, White must be overjoyed right now.
After knocking out Rafael Natal at Fight for the Troops 3, Tim Kennedy sat at the post-fight press conference and said he was not about to call anyone right then and there. Instead, Kennedy said he would save that for when he was able to log onto Twitter and Facebook.
When Kennedy did log onto Twitter, he set his sights directly on one Michael Bisping:
Hey @bisping you should keep your one good eye on me and get the other one healthy. ;-)— Tim Kennedy (@TimKennedyMMA) November 7, 2013
Not surprisingly, Bisping did not let the tweet go unanswered:
@TimKennedyMMa well it's simple. Call the UFC and say u wanna fight me in April. Put your money where your mouth is big shot.— michael (@bisping) November 8, 2013
On Friday, the two moved from online jabs to video, when they both appeared on AXS TV's Inside MMA.
Bisping got things rolling by saying:
Wednesday night Tim Kennedy knocked somebody out, and ever since then he's been calling me out. To be honest, he's been calling me out for years now, and I'm a little bit tired of it. So, Tim if you want to fight you know where to find me. Call the UFC if you're man enough and let's get it on.
I've been in the UFC for eight years. I've never turned down an opponent yet. When you were in basic training shining shoes, I was in the UFC kicking ass. So, if you think I'm intimidated by you, come on, get a grip. It's a little bit silly.
Kennedy seemed amused by Bisping's comments, but his reply was far from good-natured:
Thank God we've had soldiers shining shoes since 1775 so we don't have to sound like that guy, that's horrific.
Additionally, he's been in the UFC for eight years, I've been in the UFC for six months, and I'm in the same position that he is. It took him eight years to get to where I am, so maybe I'm going to hang back and be like ‘I don't know who that guy is, go get a couple wins, and then come and talk to me Bisping.'
He's a dirty fighter. He eye pokes. He knees downed opponents. He spits on their corners. He complains about guys doing TRT, but truthfully, the things he does in the cage are even worse. I haven't been calling him out, I've been pointing out that he's a dirty fighter, and he takes offense to that.
You can rest assured I called the UFC, and I was like I want to fight Bisping. I want to stomp him. I don't care where it is. As long as he fights a clean fight, he has no chance.
The eight years to six months comparison isn't 100 percent on the mark, but it isn't out of line either when one considers the latest rankings. The post-Fight for the Troops 3 middleweight rankings have Kennedy ranked No. 10, while Bisping is No. 4.
The problem facing the UFC is that Bisping is out of action until at least April 2014 after undergoing surgery to repair a detached retina. Then again, that might not be all bad news for the UFC. With a potential fight date that far out, Kennedy and Bisping have a lot of time to build fan interest in their fight.
My prediction is that if UFC matchmaker Joe Silva does sign this fight, fans will be inundated by trash talk, tweets and videos leading up to the fight. Even if the UFC doesn't sign the fight, I expect the back and forth between these two to continue until one of them does have an official bout agreement in place.
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