Tim Kennedy started the fight off brilliantly, but his gas tank seemed to have continuously drained throughout rounds two and five. He pressed the action right off the bat and successfully landed a takedown. He did not posture up and rain down strikes like the fans wanted him to, but his strategy was affective in getting the job done. By the end of the round, he had already transitioned from full mount to back mount and was looking to lock up a rear naked choke.
Bisping started to shine halfway through the second round as he was landing strikes without retaliation. It was evident Kennedy was starting to gas. He was constantly backing up and his hands were low which allowed Bisping to connect. Kennedy relied on catching a leg and working for a takedown to get points to regain some momentum.
‘The Count’ likely took round two, but gave up round three after he got popped with a right hand and was taken down immediately after. Once again, we saw Kennedy find his way to full mount and stay busy enough to not get stood up.
Round four told the story of a fighter who refused to stop pressing the action despite being exhausted. Kennedy took deep breaths every single time he whiffed a big combination, relieved Bisping did not counter him. Bisping ate a couple huge shots that sent him staggering backwards, but Kennedy was not aware enough to follow up. Kennedy should have been rewarded the fourth round by the judges, but Bisping did a great job at landing shots throughout the round.
Kennedy went right back to his bread-and-butter in round five as he landed a takedown in the opening minute. Bisping scrambled which allowed Kennedy to transition to his back. Kennedy utilized the time on the ground to recover until the referee separated them due to inactivity, resetting the fight in the middle of the cage. Bisping, frustrated, could not connect with any of his strikes in the remainder of the fight. It was Kennedy who was landing and cutting off Bisping from landing any combinations.
Tim Kennedy def. Michael Bisping by way of Unanimous Decision