QUEBEC CITY, April 16 – With two surgeries for a detached retina and a yearlong layoff since his last bout in April of 2013, Michael Bisping has had a rough year. On Wednesday at the Colisee Pepsi, Tim Kennedy made it rougher, scoring a near-shutout five round unanimous decision over “The Count” to win his third straight in the Octagon.
Scores were 50-45 and 49-46 twice.
Kennedy looked to test Bisping’s ground game immediately, getting a takedown while pushing the Brit to the fence. From there, the action stalled, but with Kennedy trying to improve his position, referee Yves Lavigne let the bout continue without a restart. Midway through the round, Bisping made it upright, but with Kennedy locked on to him, and the two strayed back to the mat. Eventually, Kennedy got in the mount and he proceeded to take Bisping’s back briefly, capping off a dominant round for the decorated U.S. Army veteran.
Bisping was able to keep the fight standing in round two, but after the long layoff, his timing appeared to be off, allowing Kennedy to get in his own shots when “The Count” closed the distance. Bisping did stay busy throughout though, getting in enough shots to steal the round from Kennedy.
As the third round opened, Bisping looked to be in a solid rhythm, only to have it interrupted by a Kennedy takedown. On the ground, the Texan stayed busy with strikes before getting the mount position a second time with less than two minutes left. And while Bisping got free, he wasn’t able to return to his feet.
After turning back a Kennedy takedown in round four, Bisping had his chance to work his game and even things up, but instead, he wound up taking a few hard right hands that forced him to regroup instead of putting points on the board.
The takedown was there for Kennedy in the first minute of the final round, and he took it, knowing that Bisping didn’t have enough gas left in the tank to fight past his smothering ground game. With 2:15 left in the round, Lavigne restarted the bout, giving Bisping a last chance to make a run at his foe, but the Manchester, England native didn’t have the power to get Kennedy out of there, sending the bout to the judges.
“I hit you with my best shots, I got nothing but respect for you,” said Kennedy to Bisping, who returned the compliment, effectively squashing the pre-fight rivalry between the two.
With the win, Kennedy improves to 18-4; Bisping falls to 25-6.