Tim Kennedy vs. Michael Bisping Targeted for TUF Nations Finale on April 16

USA Today
Jeremy BotterMMA Senior WriterJanuary 19, 2014

Ask, and ye shall receive. 

After months of call-outs, tweets and public shaming, former Strikeforce star Tim Kennedy will finally get the one fight he's wanted for months when he faces veteran Michael Bisping at the TUF Nations Finale. It is planned as the main event, but Bisping will need clearance for his injured eye before he can officially accept the fight. 

Kennedy was granted the fight during a Thursday meeting with UFC president Dana White at Zuffa headquarters in Las Vegas. Kennedy confirmed with Bleacher Report immediately after that meeting.

The fight takes place April 16 in Quebec City, Quebec. It also features a fight between TUF Nations coaches Kyle Noke and Patrick Cote and the finale of the Canada vs. Australia Ultimate Fighter tournament. A bout between Tim Gorman and Mitch Gagnon is also targeted for the event.

Kennedy made his UFC debut last summer, beating Roger Gracie at UFC 162. He came back with an emphatic performance in his next bout, knocking out fellow veteran Rafael Natal in the first round of their UFC Fight for the Troops 3 main event in November.

Kennedy verbally agreed to a new contract with the promotion last Thursday during a face to face meeting with Dana White in Las Vegas, where he had a few requests. One of those requests? A fight with Bisping. White granted his wish.

Bisping has not competed since April 2013 due to an eye injury that kept him sidelined. His last fight came at UFC 159, when he defeated Alan Belcher by technical decision after an eye poke rendered Belcher unable to continue. 

Kennedy has campaigned relentlessly for the fight with Bisping and has seemingly gotten under the brash British fighter's skin. Here's what Bisping told Steph Daniels of Bloody Elbow:

I've fought the best athletes in the world, and some on short notice. If Tim Kennedy thinks he's going to be the person I'm scared of-this is the person that dresses up as a f*cking ballerina-he's crazy. He dresses like a woman on a regular basis just to get a bit of attention. It's just embarrassing. And for the record, I have many times spoken to Joe Silva and Dana White and said, ‘Listen, let me shut this guy up once and for all.' It comes down to their decision. He keeps going on like it's me, and that I have the ultimate say so.

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