UFC Announces Tim Kennedy vs. Michael Bisping Headlines TUF Nations Finale

Jeremy BotterMMA Senior WriterJanuary 30, 2014

USA Today

A middleweight bout between Tim Kennedy and Michael Bisping will indeed headline The Ultimate Fighter Nations Finale.

On January 19, Bleacher Report reported Kennedy vs. Bisping was being targeted for the Quebec City event, which takes place April 16 at The Colisee. The fight hinged on Bisping's injured eye being cleared by Zuffa doctors. Bisping has now received that clearance, and the fight will move forward as scheduled.

UFC President Dana White confirmed the news during a Thursday news conference in New York City. 

For a time, it felt as though every middleweight in the UFC wanted a shot at Bisping. But Kennedy received the fight during a January 16 meeting in the Las Vegas office of UFC president Dana White, detailed in this Bleacher Report story. Luke Rockhold also wanted a piece of the Bisping pie, but Kennedy's repeated jabs at Bisping (and his insistence that White grant him the bout) appear to have done the trick. Now, the two will settle their differences in a very real grudge match. 

Kennedy last competed in late 2013, beating Rafael Natal in the main event of a Fight for the Troops event. He is 2-0 since making his UFC debut last summer. 

Bisping has not competed since a win over Alan Belcher last April. He was sidelined with a detached retina that nearly caused premature retirement. 

A welterweight bout between TUF Nations coaches Kyle Noke and Patrick Cote is also scheduled for the card, as well as a bantamweight bout between Tim Gorman and Mitch Gagnon. A lightweight bout between K.J. Noons and Sam Stout is also targeted for the event.