Tomorrow’s UFC has been called a “connoisseur’s show” — while perhaps not as long on star power, it boasts solid matches between fighters ranked in the UFC’s top ten at every turn.
One which hasn’t received a great deal of hype is Tim Kennedy’s bout with Yoel Romero.
Both fighters are riding four-fight winning streaks and looking to advance closer to a title shot against UFC Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman — and betting odds for the bout are about even.
Of the two, Kennedy has a history with Weidman, which he described on Submission Radio last week. According to Kennedy, the two grappled in a long training session at Ray Longo’s jiu-jitsu academy in New Jersey.
At the time, as Kennedy puts it, Weidman was “a new young kid, with only a couple of fights in the UFC.”
“It was very competitive,” Kennedy describes. “I’m like, holy crap this kid is good: scrambles, transitions, great defense, great offense. This was a couple of years ago. There wasn’t a single part of his repertoire I wasn’t impressed with. I told Ray Longo, this guy is seriously good.”
“He said, I know,” Kennedy recalls. “Just wait. Just watch.”
“I have a ton of respect for him. As an athlete, how he behaved in the gym. We didn’t spar (with strikes), mostly what we did for a couple of hours was wrestling and grappling — and it was very competitive, very back and forth. It was humbling on my part, to work with a guy who I thought was a no-name kid, who was just as good as I was.”
All that said, Kennedy feels he is “on Weidman’s level,” and can defeat Weidman today: “I think I could beat him. I can’t wait to get that chance.”