Former Strikeforce middleweight title contender Tim Kennedy is set to headline his second UFC event, this time with a step up in competition against British star Michael Bisping. The two top 185lbers are scheduled to meet in the main event of the TUF:Nations finale, which takes place in the middle of the UFC's busy month of April.
Speaking with MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani on UFC Tonight, Kennedy hopes that the fans in Quebec are ready to cheer for him, as he is looking forward to putting on a show in the organization's first trip to Canada's oldest city.
"I hope so." Kennedy said on UFC Tonight. "I know Bisping is easy to vilify but I am going to go out there and make it an exciting fight and I hope that's why they cheer for me. I know it is a fighting city; they love boxing over there. I'm gonna show up to fight."
Regarding his Ranger Up videos poking fun at the Brit, Kennedy says his only motive for doing them was that Bisping is "an easy guy to make fun of."
"An emotional fighter isn't a good fighter, but that isn't why I am doing it. I think he is an easy guy to make fun of. He is a jerk. I'm making fun of him because he is fun to make fun of. I have a lot of respect for him as a fighter, but some of the shenanigans he has pulled in the past are worthy to be made fun of. "
Kennedy, a Special Forces Weapons Sergeant in the Texas Army National Guard, also laughed off "The Count"'s suggestion that he was a dirty fighter, and added that at least he had never spit on an opponent's corner.
"Anybody that has seem me fight knows that that's idiotic. I think I'm one of the cleanest fighters ever. I think in my 30 odd fights I have maybe 1-2 accidental groin shots. Never an eye poke I don't think. I never grab the fence. I never grab shorts. Never kneed a downed opponent or spit on a corner so..."
While Bisping has provided a variety of responses to Kennedy, none were more baffling than his decision to call him a communist. Kennedy chose not to dignify the Brit's "ridiculousness" with a response.
"He has gone down this rabbit hole of ridiculousness that isn't founded on any form of truth. I don't even have to validate something like that with a response."
Considering the trouble Bisping has had with his right eye over the past year, Kennedy's biggest concern ahead of the fight is the Manchester native's health.
"I really hope that he's healthy and that is going to fight me that night. I have 25 minutes to put on a show in the main event. This is my second main event for the UFC and I really want to give the people what they expect."
This has the potential to be a good fight, but Bisping has to play along. He has to come in and want to fight. "
The TUF Nations Finale is scheduled to take place on April 16, 2014 Quebec City, Quebec.