Although Michael Bisping is booked for a highly anticipated scrap with Luke Rockhold, and is coming off an impressive win over Cung Le, it wasn’t that long ago when he was recovering from a decision loss to Tim Kennedy. Although “The Count” emerged from the April fight relatively unscathed, Kennedy left no room for debate as to who won the fight.
“I should have knocked him out,” the 35-year-old Kennedy said. “There was a war of words and I was trying to get him emotionally involved. The problem with that fight is that I stuck so close to my game plan, which was big huge punches on entries, followed up by takedowns and control. So even the times I hurt him – and I hurt him really bad and put him on loopy street in the third and fourth rounds – I just went right in for the takedown and controlled him. Rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat. I should have had the want to finish because I should have and could have. That’s on me that I didn’t, but it went exactly how we prepared and planned. I executed the game plan perfectly, and he got smashed for 25 minutes.”
Ah yes, if you recall, Kennedy and Bisping had quite the pre-fight beef going (but what else is new when you’re talking about the latter…). The middleweight cited his ability to take Bisping down and control the action as a key factor in the victory, but against the accomplished wrestler Romero, a different game plan is in order.
“He hits hard, he’s an athletic guy, he’s a southpaw, and he has a ferocious rear hand, but it’s still a fight,” Kennedy said Romer, who is a former Olympic Silver Medalist in wrestling. “People are so scared of his takedowns, and if he’s smart, he’s gonna try and take me down. He doesn’t want to stand with me for three rounds. I don’t care what he’s gonna try to do, because I think I can beat him in every area of the fight game. His best chance is to try to score takedowns and smother me.”
It will be interesting to see if Kennedy can keep the fight standing, or what approach Romero will take. This is a big fight for both guys, as Kennedy has won three in a row since arriving in the UFC, and Romero has won four straight in the Octagon.
The American Kennedy, is ranked #6 at 185, while the Cuban Romero is positioned at #10. So, in other words, the winner will likely lock up a fight with a top five ranked opponent, which is always the first step into the title shot mix.
UFC 178 will be hosted by the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, and will feature flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson taking on Chris Cariaso.
Other main card bouts include Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor, Donald Cerrone vs. Eddie Alvarez, and Dominick Cruz vs. Takeya Mizugaki.