The Ultimate Fighter Nations Finale: Bisping Vs Kennedy Preview

1)      “The Count” Gears Up For Another Title Run 

If Michael Bisping’s career ended today, I don’t think the brash Britt would be proud of his legacy. Sure he has been one of the most consistent fighters on the UFC roster since he won ‘The Ultimate Fighter 3,” in 2006. But he has always come up just short of fighting for gold, let alone wearing it. All five of Bisping’s UFC career defeats since joining the UFC almost 9 years ago, have come to the elite of the 185 and 205 pound division, including losses to hall of famers Dan Henderson, Rashad Evans, and Wanderlei Silva. . Perhaps more disheartening for Bisping is that those losses always seem to happen when he is one win away from fighting for the world title. Recently losses to Chael Sonnen and Vitor Belfort have delayed him from that elusive title shot. At 35 years old, Bisping’s time to make a run at the belt is running out. In the main event of “The Ultimate Fighter Nation’s Finale: Bisping Vs Kennedy” Bisping attempts to climb back into title contention against longtime Strikeforce veteran Tim Kennedy. While this is a big fight for both men, I think it is much bigger for Bisping. No informed MMA fan will argue that Bisping hasn’t been a top 10 Middleweight for the past five years, but he hasn’t been able to crack into the very top because of his untimely setbacks. How many more chances will Bisping get before he becomes too old to compete with the elite of the division? In my opinion, this is the last run he has in him. If he is able to topple Kennedy that would be two straight wins over respectable opposition for “The Count” and may even earn him another number one contender bout to close out 2014. Bisping receives a lot of flak from fans because of his arrogant persona, and outlandish comments, but no one denies his talent. He is one of the most well rounded mixed martial artists in the game today, who relies on a heavy output approach to wear down opponents. He is a working man’s fighter, and that is why we as fans should begin to appreciate Bisping’s consistency he has displayed over the years. At the highest level of MMA, fighters don’t stay in the top 10 for years like Bisping has done. The odds makers say he should win here, but Kennedy is no joke and this main event should deliver with both fighters high output styles. Can Bisping claw his way into a title fight for the first time in his decade long career?

 

 

 

Bisping

 

2)   Tim Kennedy, Strikeforce’s Version Of Michael Bisping-

While the title I used may throw you off because these two could not be farther apart personality wise, they’re more similar than you realize. Sure Kennedy has always been a more socially reserved fighter than Bisping, who is known as the loud outspoken Brit of MMA. While Kennedy on the other hand is a proud patriot who served his time in the U.S Army, and only recently began being more vocal in an attempt to secure an established opponent like Bisping. But as far as in cage credentials go, these two have developed a well-earned label of always coming up short in the big fights. Unlike Bisping, Kennedy twice challenged for Stirkeforce’s Middleweight world title. However both times he came up short to top 10 Middleweights Luke Rockhold, and Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza. Although there is no belt on the line when he fights Bisping, it is an opportunity to capture his first top 10 victory of his career. . He has come up short the last two times he fought top 10 talent, and at 34 years old, I don’t know how many more chances he will receive. This is a big fight for both men, since both fighters want to shed that label of “choke artist.” Kennedy is one of the more physical combatants at 185-pounds in the world, and that could carry him to a victory over the more polished Michael Bisping. Kennedy has gone five rounds before in the past on two occasions, something Bisping has never done. That could be all the advantage Kennedy needs because their main event clash is scheduled for 25 minutes. He will be coming in a small underdog, can Kennedy prove he delivers when the pressure is on?

Tim

 

3) Showcase Fight For Dustin Poirier-

The UFC rarely gives the elite fighters in their respective weight classes, “show case” fights where the intention is to make one contender look good against lower ranked competition. Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier is receiving just that when he takes on Akira Corassani on the main card of “The Ultimate Fighter Nations Finale.” I don’t mean any disrespect towards Corassani, who is a respectable Featherweight, but this is a mismatch of a fight. Poirier is already a top 10 145-pounder, and at only 25 years old, we know we haven’t seen the best of him yet.  I think we are only a few more statement victories away from seeing Dustin compete for the Featherweight world title. Mostly that is based off of the fact that he is one of the few top 10 fighters that Jose Aldo hasn’t already crushed during his dominate title reign. Which explains to me why the UFC elected to give him a televised fight against someone who isn’t even ranked in the top 25. It is an opportunity for Dustin to make a splash and get his buzz going at an all-time high. The Poirier and Corassani match-up is slated to kick off the main card, and aside from the head liners, Poirier is the only other world ranked talent competing on the card. There is a reason Dustin is getting this show case, and I feel very comfortable telling you he is as good as advertised. Don’t believe me? Watch him fight for yourself Wednesday night.

 

4)     Oddest Pair Of “TUF’ Coaches Ever-

I remember when “The Ultimate Fighter” first came out, all the head coaches were the best fighters in the world. With all the season’s they have produced over the years, international and domestic, the quality of coaches has certainly diminished. Hence why we have Patrick “The Predator” Cote taking on Kyle “KO” Noke, in the co-main event for this season’s coaches fight. No disrespect to either Noke or Cote, but both men have been in MMA for a long time, and neither really set the world on fire. Sure Cote fought Anderson Silva for the world title in 2008, but his UFC record stands at a disappointing 6-8. Noke on the other hand is 4-2 in the Octagon, but his biggest career accomplishment is fighting to a draw against Hector Lombard in 2007. The winner of this fight will still be ranked outside the top 25 at Welterweight, which raises the question, why are these two even coaching TUF to begin with? I get they are both older statesmen of the sport who happen to be Canadian and Australian, but does that justify a spot coaching the “new generation” of fighters? Either way I do think their match up should be an exciting one, which may be enough of a reason to tune in. I guess.

Cote & Noke

5) More International TUF Winners-

With “The Ultimate Fighter” preparing to debut its 19th season, and 20th already in the works here in the U.S, American fans are a bit tired of the brand. However, where the UFC has the franchise scorching is internationally.. This was evident with TUF Brazil doing huge numbers in Brazil, and are already on their 3rd season over there. Aside from that, fans in China, Australia, Canada, and the U.K, have all been invested in recent seasons as they rooted for their countrymen to crack into the UFC via the reality T.V show. On Wednesday night the UFC will crown the newest champions of the TUF franchise in both the Middleweight and Welterweight division.  With all the recent TUF winners, not really setting the world on fire, I don’t expect much from the winners of these tournaments. But I do know they have entire nations watching and supporting them around the world. Which is why I guess the UFC keeps running these international TUF’s despite not much fanfare from the U.S. It’s not about us at this point is the gest, and I get it.

TUF

 

Picks for the contest

Main Card

Michael Bisping over Tim Kennedy

Kyle Noke over Patrick Cote

Elias Tneodorou over Sheldon Westcott

Oliver Aubin Mercier over Chad Laprise

Dustin Poirier over Akira Corassani

Prelims

K.J Noons over Sam Stout

Sarah Kaufman over Leslie Smith

Ryan Jimmo over Sean O’Connell

Dustin Kimura over George Roop

Mark Bocek over Mike de la Tora

Nordine Taleb over Vik Grujic

Richard Walsh over Chris Indich

Mitch Gagnon over Tim Gorman

 

Total Record Since UFC Fight Night 39-

6-1

 

Follow On Twitter- @Carlosjortiz32

 

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