In spite of the fact that the card was built around the makeshift rivalry between Canada and Australia, the most highly anticipated bout of Wednesday night in Quebec City was between an American and an Englishman: Tim Kennedy vs. Michael Bisping. The bout was chock-full of build-up, with non-stop smack talk from both Bisping, one of the UFC's foremost heels, and Kennedy, a fun-loving Army veteran.
When the two met in the Octagon, it was an absolute chess match between Bisping's formidable striking and Kennedy's takedowns and sticky grappling. Kennedy, for four rounds, would get the better of Bisping, taking him down and absolutely refusing to let go.
The final scorecards read 49-46, 49-46 and 50-45, all in favor of the American.
Naturally, MMA fans and media all took to Twitter to discuss the fight, the build-up and the aftermath.
MMA Analyst-in-Chief Jack Slack discussed how Kennedy was able to consistently land his right hand over Bisping's jab:
Kennedy already looking for the right hook over Bisping's jab. I'm going to pretend that's because he reads me ;)— Jack Slack (@JackSlackMMA) April 17, 2014
You can check out his piece on Bisping's strengths and weaknesses.
While Kennedy had success trading punches with Bisping, though, most of the talk focused in on the lengthy grappling exchanges:
Blanket offense in full effect— Stephie D (@CrooklynMMA) April 17, 2014
Wow, Bisping conned the ref into that stand up.— James MacDonald (@JimMacDonaldMMA) April 17, 2014
Former Bellator welterweight champion (and current One FC fighter) Ben Askren chimed in as only he can:
When the scores were read, many took issue with the one scorecard that read 50-45. Bisping seemed to have taken the second round with ease, which should have led to a unanimous 49-46, but apparently not:
So one judge actually scored R2 for Kennedy???— FrontRowBrian (@FrontRowBrian) April 17, 2014
50-45? Ok.— Greg Savage (@TheSavageTruth) April 17, 2014
Regardless, Kennedy took a decisive win over one of the top middleweights over the last decade. That had many discussing where he falls in the division at this point:
And, it's not like Kennedy has anything for Weidman, but he's established himself as a high level guy.— Mookie Alexander (@mookiealexander) April 17, 2014
If ya ask me, the big winner here tonight is Luke Rockhold. Has wins over Jacare and Kennedy in SF. Win next week puts him in a good spot.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) April 17, 2014
Where Bisping lies in the division, and where he is in his career, was also discussed:
Perhaps a bit of an overreaction but at 35, title window closed, coming off of serious eye surgery, retirement is possible for Bisping.— Mookie Alexander (@mookiealexander) April 17, 2014
What were people expecting from Bisping tonight exactly? He nearly had to retire, and was competitive with the most underrated MW in the UFC— Adam Martin (@MMAdamMartin) April 17, 2014
Not long after, of course, talk immediately went over to The Ultimate Fighter season 19. And with that, I leave all of you to discuss things!