Tim Kennedy wants Wanderlei, apprehensive about fighting Belfort in Brazil

USA TODAY Sports

After a dominating performance over Roger Gracie at UFC 162, Tim Kennedy is looking to put his Strikeforce past behind him in favor of more well-established MMA veterans.

It sounds like UFC middleweight Tim Kennedy has shifted his focus from one legendary Brazilian to another. Recently rumored to be facing Vitor Belfort, the Strikeforce vet now claims to be eyeing a scrap with former PIRDE champion Wanderlei Silva. Bleacher Report has the goods:

"I'd love to fight anybody with a rich history within the sport that's been a fighter for a long time," Kennedy said. "To get matched up with Wanderlei Silva, an iconic hero of mine, that's the kind of fight I want."

But back to the subject of Vitor, Kennedy doesn't sound too keen on the prospect of facing the 'Phenom' down south.

"I wasn't thrilled about fighting Vitor in Brazil; I've always been vocal about being against TRT ... I had mixed feelings about fighting him in Brazil ... it's his legacy. He can do what he wants. But I think it demeans the sport when he uses performance-enhancing drugs."

Kennedy also claims he asked the UFC to sanction Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) testing for the fight, but that the promotion claimed that onus fell on individual athletic commissions.

"I'd prefer to fight him in the United States, but I was going to fight him regardless."

Last week, MMA Fighting's Areil Helwani had UFC President Dana White touch on some of these issues regarding Belfort competing in Brazil. Three of Belfort's last four fights have taken place in Brazil. He hasn't competed in the States since his 2011 knockout win over Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 133.

"I don't care what heat it receives. [Belfort] is being tested. Listen to me: The last f***ing thing on Earth we would do is lie about something like this. Everybody always thinks there are these big conspiracies and s**t. This is a massive, massive business, right? We're on FOX, we're regulated by all these athletic commissions. You think we're going to hide Vitor Belfort in Brazil so he can cheat?

First of all, I would never f***ing do that. Take me out of the equation and the company would never do that. There are no conspiracies here. We're not hiding Vitor Belfort down in Brazil because he's drugged out of his mind and can't pass a test anywhere else, that's completely false. Vitor Belfort is huge in Brazil and does very well down there. The people in Brazil want to see him fight in Brazil."

Belfort now claims to want a fight with Chael Sonnen at light heavyweight, but check out the video below to get Dana's take on that prospect.


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