Breaking news: Tim Kennedy and Michael Bisping don't like each other.
The two will meet at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): "Nations" Finale in just over a week's time at Colisee Pepsi in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. The headlining middleweight affair is giving observers more than they can handle in the trash talk department, as Kennedy started things off with a phony bout agreement.
Kennedy spoke about his feud with the British combatant, relishing the opportunity in one of the biggest fights of his career (via The MMA Hour):
"I'm fortunate. One, he's a really good fighter, he's ranked above me, he's a longtime UFC marquee perennial contender, and I don't like him. It's my dream come true. It's a great fight, I couldn't be more excited."
The MMA Hour's own Ariel Helwani played a clip of Michael Bisping on the show a few weeks back, where Bisping unloads on Kennedy for his participation in the Ranger Up promos, and when the American supported Jorge Rivera against Bisping in Australia, too.
Unfortunately, Bisping accused Kennedy of "dressing like a woman and acting like a queer," and those types of comments can definitely be avoided:
"Ironically, just a couple of days ago my wife told me I should never ever dress up like a girl because I make a hideous woman. I never wanted to say this before ... Michael Bisping might be right about something ... that I should not dress up as a woman. Queer? Is that a negative ... is he insulting me with that? I don't know what that homophobic comment has to do with anything."
The army vet doesn't feel bad about the Ranger Up promos either, simply because he owns a percentage of the company and it's his job to hype up fights.
If you remember correctly, the clothing company lashed out at "The Count" during preparations for his fight against Rivera at UFC 127 in 2011. Bisping was so fired up during the weigh in, he called Rivera a homophobic slur, and spat in the direction of his corner (or on the actual members of his corner) directly after the referee stepped in to award him the technical knockout victory.
Still, Kennedy remains unapologetic, calling Bisping a "jerk."
"I am an owner of Ranger Up. So, Ranger Up are the ones that produced it, so absolutely. We produced the videos. As you know, the UFC expects us to promote our fights. Jorge was one of our athletes and we were helping him promote his fight -- just like we're doing with my fight right now. I legitimately don't like Michael Bisping, so it's easy to do, making videos making fun of him because I enjoy it. He's a jerk."
Kennedy doesn't know the former TUF guy outside of the cage, since they've never rubbed elbows or had conversations before. With the all controversy that has surrounded Bisping in the past, Kennedy isn't surprised his opponent carries around the tag of someone who isn't professional inside the cage, but he adds more weight by saying "The Count" is as dirty as they come:
"The only think I know about him is how he fights .... He always eye gouges, he always kicks to the groin, he always grabs shorts, he always grabs the cage, he always lifts his arm on the top of the cage. You know, it's like, not habitually, but he does ... always. Like every fight, he does it. He's a dirty fighter. How can anybody contest that?"
This should be one helluva a staredown.
Check out the finalized card for TUF: "Nations" Finale right here.