Casey Kenney was surprised to see Dominick Cruz’s name on his contract.
On the prelims of UFC 259, Kenney is set to face the former bantamweight champion in a very intriguing matchup. Kenney is looking to take a big step up the bantamweight ranks while Cruz is looking to snap his two-fight losing skid. For Kenney, he believes the fight makes sense for that reason.
“Not really. I knew somebody in the top-15 would be next but I didn’t think it would be Dominick. When that name came up there was no hesitation on my end,” Kenney said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “I think he still wants to prove himself to see if he has it and I’m definitely a guy to test yourself against. I think he really wants to test himself not just against a legend but against an up and comer.”
Entering the fight, the big question is whether or not Dominick Cruz is his old self. In his last fight against Henry Cejudo, Casey Kenney believes the former champion looked slow in parts of the fight but did show glimpses of his old self.
Although Cruz is on a two-fight losing streak, Kenney knows the former champ is still dangerous.
“He had a little spurts of his old self and spurts of being slow. The way it finished with the knee, if they run that fight again it probably doesn’t end like that,” Kenney explained. “I’m not counting him out. But, he looked pretty decent in bits and pieces in that Cejudo fight, I expect a tough Dominick Cruz but I got a handful for him.”
When the two do end up sharing the Octagon, Kenney is expecting a high-paced fight. As evidence by his last couple of fights, Kenney is known for pushing the pace. He also uses his body kicks to damage his opponents.
Although his last two fights went the distance, Kenney doesn’t think Cruz will be able to take the damage as he expects to put the former champ away.
“I think the fight will go everywhere. If we stay standing, that would be great but maybe one of us shoots for a takedown,” Kenney said. “I’m a well-rounded mixed martial artists and we will see how it goes. But, I think I put him away. The last couple of fights I have been going for the finish. We will see if Dominick can take the same damage my last two opponents took.”
If Kenney gets his hand raised and do so by stoppage, he knows it would be the biggest win of his career. He also would expect to start being in the conversation to fight top-10 or even top-five bantamweights.
“He’s one of the greatest of all-time and they are the top of guys I want to fight. The bantamweight division is exciting but I jump right into the top-10, top-five,” Kenney concluded.
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