UFC on FOX 21: Jeremy Kennedy’s Happy to be Facing Fellow Canadian Alex Ricci, We “Both Get to Put on a Show”
By Kelsey Mowatt
Recently Jeremy Kennedy found out that UFC on FOX 21 will feature two all Canadian bouts, instead of just one, and the undefeated fighter thinks ultimately it’s better for the nation’s fans.
Kennedy, who fights out of Surrey, British Columbia, was originally booked to take on American Josh Emmett at Saturday’s card, which will take place in Vancouver. But, just recently, it was announced that Emmett was withdrawing from the card, and that Ontario’s Alex Ricci will be Kennedy’s new opponent.
“I think that’s better for the Canadian fans,” Kennedy relayed on a recent episode of Full Contact Fighter Radio, while discussing the opponent change. “They want to see two, little bit more familiar faces face-off rather than the Americans. They have enough time fighting each other out there so it’s good to give us a good time too. Just, for both of us to showcase our skills rather than having another American come here and get the spotlight on them as well.”
“It’s nice for me and Alex,” added Kennedy, who has fought at 145 throughout his career, but will face Ricci at 155. “Now we’re both getting to be in the UFC and both get to put on a show.”
In Ricci, Kennedy (8-0) will take on an opponent whose path to the UFC, is pretty different than the one Emmett took. The latter is a former collegiate wrestler, who transitioned into pro-MMA back in 2011. Ricci (10-3), meanwhile, is a former Muay Thai champ, who made his pro MMA debut in 2010.
“That’s the big thing; it’s a little weird for me because, you know, I fought my career at 45 here in Canada, so all the 45’ers here in Canada have been on my radar,” said Kennedy, when asked for his assessment of Ricci. “So I haven’t really looked at the 55’ers. I spent my whole camp training for Josh, and training for that opponent, doing my research on him. My last sparring day was Friday so all the real hard training was done. It’s kind of just maintenance now, light workouts and then the opponent gets changed.”
“I know he’s a little bit taller,” noted Kennedy. “He likes to strike a little bit more than say Josh would. As for me being able to train anything specific for him it’s a little bit too late for that. It’s going to be good. I’m going to do what I can against an opponent I don’t really know much about.”
UFC on FOX 21 will be hosted by Vancouver’s Rogers Arena. The other all Canadian match-up will feature middleweight Ryan Janes taking on Adam Hunter.
Saturday’s event will be headlined by a welterweight bout between contenders Demian Maia and Carlos Condit.