Opinion: Tim Kennedy’s Challenge to Entire UFC Middleweight Division
By Michael Hatamoto
UFC middleweight fighter Tim Kennedy was supposed to fight former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida, but Machida is now scheduled to fight Mark Munoz due to Michael Bisping going in for surgery.
Injuries happen in MMA, and the UFC routinely has to reshuffle fights to try and create appealing matchups that will be popular with fans. To try and be proactive in finding a new opponent, Kennedy wanted to give himself a boost:
Kennedy called out a portion of the UFC middleweight roster, showing his desperation to get into the cage during UFC: Fight for the Troops 3 from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, on November 6. Using his official Twitter account, he called out Rich Franklin, Chris Camozzi, Costas Philippou, Nick Diaz, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Brian Stann, Cung Le, and Gegard Mousasi, among other fighters.
Kennedy made his UFC debut at UFC 162 in July, where he beat Roger Gracie by unanimous decision over three rounds. Considering Gracie’s strong background in BJJ, it was a good win for Kennedy, as the 34-year-old holds a black belt – and a strong wrestling pedigree, so he was able to avoid Gracie’s ground game and outstrike him while on the feet.
I look forward to seeing who accepts Kennedy’s invitation for a fight, because the US Army Staff Sergeant clearly has an added incentive to fight in front of his fellow service men and women.
Kennedy is a good fighter training out of Greg Jackson’s camp in New Mexico, and deserves the UFC to replace his opponent with a top quality fighter. Kennedy was supposed to meet Machida during the main event, so it will be interesting to see what opponent, if any, the UFC can find for him on the Fox Sports 1 fight card.