Tim Kennedy's bravado and confidence has hit an all-time high ahead of his The Ultimate Fighter Nations Finale main event against the brash British middleweight standout Michael Bisping.
A military man known for his excellent composure, game-planning and control inside the cage, Kennedy has opened up about his latest foe, and he's making his feelings well known in the mixed martial arts community.
Tim Kennedy is going to beat Michael Bisping.
And the fight isn't even going to be close.
"I'm going to own him in every way," Kennedy told Bleacher Report. "I'm ready for the best he has, but I don't think the best that he has is ever going to get me there (in bad positions)."
At 17-4, Kennedy's success in the sport is well documented, but even more impressive is the nature of those four losses.
Three have come via decision to well-known fighters such as Luke Rockhold and Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza, while the fourth represents Kennedy's sole loss via technical knockout. Still, this occurred in Kennedy's pro debut against Scott "Hands of Steel" Smith, and the fight was stopped due to a cut, meaning that it was not a "true" knockout.
Despite this, Kennedy knows what it feels like to want to quit, to tap out, and he has grown and prospered because of this experience.
"Nobody's perfect," Kennedy said of the fact that he's never been submitted or knocked unconscious in combat. "Look at the people I train with. Jon Jones doesn't put me in positions that I'm thrilled about...I'm definitely in a gym (Jackson-Winkeljohn MMA) that has plenty of dudes that can put me in those positions—make me want to quit, make me want to tap, hit me hard enough to make me say, 'Ahh, this sucks.' But it's not going to happen in the cage."
Still, Bisping is not Jon Jones in Kennedy's eyes. The Count simply does not have what it takes to take the Jackson-Winkeljohn product into the deep waters and drown him.
"I don't think he (Bisping) hits hard enough for me to be worried about his power," Kennedy said.
On top of this, Kennedy notices a troubling trend with Bisping's latest attempts at promoting their TUF Nations Finale main event. The Bisping who has participated in the trash talking to this point has seemed uninspired to Kennedy, and the Army Ranger hopes that this lackluster behavior does not carry into the UFC Octagon.
"Does Bisping seem like he's as overtly obnoxious as he usually is? I don't know," Kennedy said. "It seems like I maybe got a little bit of a mediocre version of Bisping. I'm hoping I don't get a mediocre version of Bisping in the cage...I'd be pouty, maybe a little bit emo, sulky. I'd have to cry and hop on (UFC President) Dana (White's) lap and put my head on his shoulder and cry a river of tears about how disappointing the fight was."
For now, Kennedy continues to put in the necessary work in the gym, training with beasts like Jones, Travis Browne and Cub Swanson in an effort to prepare for a run to the top of the middleweight division.
To Kennedy, this championship ascension begins Wednesday against Bisping, and the path to victory could not be any more clear.
"I know I'm a better wrestler, and I know I'm a better grappler, so those are obviously things I'm going to try to exploit," Kennedy said. "But the thing about that is that when guys are scared about takedowns, they're easier to hit, and I want to hit him."
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