Tim Kennedy Squirms on Fighter Pay Issue, Says He'll "Stand by What I Said"

Scott HarrisMMA Lead WriterJuly 1, 2013

Middleweight Tim Kennedy makes his UFC debut Saturday at UFC 162.
Middleweight Tim Kennedy makes his UFC debut Saturday at UFC 162.USA TODAY Sports

Tim Kennedy just wants to talk about his fight with Roger Gracie this Saturday at UFC 162. But he’s not getting off that easily just yet. 

Kennedy attracted attention last week by calling UFC fighter pay "pathetic" and then issuing a lengthy apology statement a few days later. When questioned about the chain of events Monday on The MMA Hour broadcast, Kennedy walked a fine line by attempting to stand by both his original comments and his apology, in which he stated those comments were, among other things, "taken out of context."

“If I say something that makes my bosses mad, and they say ‘you need to say something about it,’ then I will," Kennedy said. "I’ll stand by what I said the first time and the reasons why I apologized afterward.”

Kennedy also repeated, albeit more reluctantly and far more diplomatically than he originally did, his wishes that UFC fighters would be paid more.

“It was just an honest assessment of, 'here are the deductions that usually occur in a fight,' and it’s a lot less money than most people think,” Kennedy said. “It’s hard to fight two, three times a year and have all your income come from that. It’s not enough.”

Kennedy (15-4) also said he believed pro fighters should be paid on the same level as professional golfers or hockey players, especially given that golfers "don’t have as short of a career as we do.”

The 33-year-old middleweight and former Strikeforce title challenger, who is making his UFC debut Saturday, seemed relieved and excited to shift gears and discuss his UFC 162 tilt with fellow former Strikeforce standout and UFC debutante Roger Gracie. 

A jiu-jitsu world champion, Gracie (6-1) has been accused of being one-dimensional in the context of high-level MMA. On Monday, Kennedy made no such accusation.

“He is so dominant on the ground that his one trick is really, really, really, really good. But no, I don’t think he’s a one-trick pony," Kennedy said. "I think his standup is underestimated. I think he’s really good at using range.”