On November 12, on the undercard of UFC 205, talented UFC middleweight Tim Kennedy will return from a lengthy hiatus to take on Rashad Evans. While the Strikeforce veteran is optimistic that a win over Evans should push him in the direction of a fight with current middleweight champ Michael Bisping, who he defeated back in 2014, he’s also aware that nothing is certain in today’s crowded middleweight division.
“The [middleweight] division’s a mess, man. It’s a disaster,” Kennedy said on a recent episode of Submission Radio. “It’s anybody’s chance to get that next title fight and everybody wants it because, especially for me, Michael Bisping is the easiest fight in the division.”
At the moment, Kennedy says Chris Weidman, Luke Rockhold, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and Derek Brunson can all lay claim to to the next shot at the middleweight title. He does not, however, believe his recent foil Yoel Romero is a contender.
“If you go down that list, from Chris Weidman, to Jacare to Luke Rockhold, to Derek Brunson – that would be my number two, three, four and five right there. I don’t put Yoel Romero in there because I think he’s a cheater and he shouldn’t even be in the UFC.”
Despite this crowded contendership picture, Kennedy is hopeful that a win over Evans, when paired with his previous win over the current champ, will wedge him into the title picture.
“I’m gonna go fight Rashad, I’m gonna beat him in a very, very clear decisive fashion,” Kennedy said. “Michael Bisping, he has not wanted to utter my name for the past year. He’s been winning, and he might be calling out 47-year-old men that he has losses to, but who he’s not mentioning, is me – the guy that beat him up for 25 minutes.”
“So, if he wants to stand there and really be a champion, stop calling out dudes that have been retired for a few years, stop calling out a 47-year-old man. Why don’t you fight a guy that beat the brakes off of you and on November 12th at Madison Square Garden is going to make a huge statement in the division.”
If a win over Rashad Evans doesn’t move him into title contention, Kennedy says he may just give up on fighting outright.
“There’s a really good chance that after this fight you’ll never see me again – well, in the Octagon,” Kennedy said of his future. “After November 12, when I beat Rashad, if whoever the matchmaker is going to be in December for the middleweight division, if they’re not talking about me being in the mix, about me as a potential match up against Michael Bisping for the title, then what’s the point?”
“If I’m not going to be in the mix for a title shot at this point in my career, where I have a win over the champion – what am I, like six and one in the last seven fights, with “knockout of the night”, “fight of the night” and my only loss was a super dumb controversial [knockout] – I think we’ve got a lot of other things to do [outside the Octagon].”
Do you think Tim Kennedy deserves a shot at the middleweight title with a win over Rashad Evans at UFC 205? Let us know in the comments, PENN nation!