"When you have a fighter luring somebody in just so you can have an exciting fight and the other guy doesn't want to, there's something wrong."
That's how Tim Kennedy described the UFC 167 welterweight bout between Robbie Lawler and Rory MacDonald while we talked about the fights over some BBQ.
The topic came up when I brought up the fact that his coach, Greg Jackson, has been blamed by fans and the media for boring fights inside the Ultimate FIghting Championship (UFC) Octagon and how in hindsight, it's pretty apparent that Jackson doesn't deserve to be called "a sport killer."
Since joining Jackson's camp, Kennedy has seen a ton of success in mixed martial arts (MMA) and is understandably passionate when talking about his coaches and teammates.
"Even when they said it, it was ridiculous. Totally unfounded. If you look at the past ten fights. The fighters that have won the "submission of the night", the "knockout of the night", and "fight of the night" bonuses are almost exclusively Jackson guys," Kennedy said.
"In my last fight camp, it was me, Rustam (Khabilov), Adlan (Amagov), and (Donald) Cerrone, all in fight camp at the same time. All of us fighting three weeks apart and all of us had a 'knockout of the night' or 'fight of the night.' Then you look at Firas (Zahabi) and you look at Rory MacDonald."
Zahabi is St-Pierre's head coach and owner of the Montreal-based TriStar Gym. His gym is home to some of Canada's top talent and unfortunately, those fighters are starting to have a reputation of being super 'boring' and tentative in fights.
Kennedy recounted the noticeable difference in Rory MacDonald's approach to fighting from his UFC 129 bout with Nate Diaz to the man who showed up in the cage against Lawler at UFC 167. And he's honestly not impressed with the latest version.
"I remember when he fought Nate Diaz and it was extreme grappling, vicious strikes. That guy was scary. Now we're two years removed from that fight and the transition is now a guy jabbing from the outside. Not even in volume. It's just horrible. It's so boring."
"I felt bad for Robbie Lawler. He only knows one way of fighting, which is violently. But to fight violently, you need a guy who is going to participate."