Michael Bisping has said a lot of bad things about and to Tim Kennedy. As the former Army Ranger readies to face Bisping tonight in the main event of the TUF: Nations Finale, he isn't sweating the negativity too much, though.
"No not at all. we are never going to be best friends, best buds, holding hands running through the fields together," Kennedy joked during a recent interview on the Fighting Words podcast with Ray Flores.
"I really don’t care. He is a jerk at all times... I don’t respect the guy, I think he's dirty fighter so I don’t respect him as a person. I just don’t care what he says. There is nothing that he does and says that I care about."
Readers of his Yahoo! Sports blog leading up to this bout will know that Kennedy doesn't think too highly of Bisping as a person and hasn't himself been shy about criticizing the Ultimate Fighter winner. Kennedy does, however, recognize that Bisping is a solid fighter and expects the Brit (who is returning after a long injury layoff) to be in top form.
"No,I don’t think so," Kennedy replied when asked if he expects Bisping to be rusty in the cage.
"The best way to get rid of Octagon rust is to train hard. [Bisping] knows I’m coming after him. He’d be an idiot not to train hard. I think he’ll be ready to go."
While Bisping has had forced inactivity of late, Kennedy earned three big wins last year and is riding high. Even so, he's a big underdog to his opponent.
That's a-ok to Kennedy. "I don’t like being the favorite so I’m cool for this," he said.
"I’m excited that I get to fight the number five guy in the world and everybody thinks I’m going to lose. They are going to be shocked…and I’m just going to do what I do, [and that's] winning."
Kennedy and Bisping are doubtless both equally confident of victory heading into tonight's UFC main event. Kennedy's certainty in one particular area likely can't be matched, however.
Bisping can and has shouted and cursed in Kennedy's face and "The Count" will no-doubt look to push his usual exhausting pace in their fight. But, win, lose or draw, the war veteran Kennedy knows that no man can break him inside the Octagon.
"People talk about breaking other people in the Octagon, breaking them mentally and seeing them give up," Kennedy said.
"That's never going to happen to me. Ever. Not possible."