Middleweight Tim Kennedy has been publicly lobbying for action, as well as an increased amount of depth in the division, for more than a year and has yet to see either endeavor bear fruit. In fact, Strikeforce has actually slowed their production schedule down and hasn’t even allowed him to fight some of the competitors already signed to the company’s roster.
Kennedy recently addressed his frustration in an interview with TapouT Radio where remained respectful but was clearly upset with the way things have been, and are still being, handled.
“When you see guys that are vacating other organizations like Hector Lombard, you know, is there an opportunity for him to be brought over to us? Absolutely not. Nobody has even considered it. Of course he’s going to go straight to the UFC, and that leaves us with Jacare, Luke, and myself,” said Kennedy when asked about the possibility of Zuffa bringing over new talent to challenge him and other top middleweights in Strikeforce like Luke Rockhold and Ronaldo Souza. “The three of us, I’m pretty sure, we could fight, on any given night, with any of the Top 10 UFC guys, and it would be a very, very competitive fight.”
“As it stands, it’s the three of us. If I beat Luke, in the summer, and I have the title, what’s left for me? I guess I’ll fight Jacare again. Whether I beat Jacare, or he beats me, then what? They’ll have me fight Luke again,” asked Kennedy rhetorically. “It’s just this painful cycle, and I want fresh blood. I want to fight. I don’t even think they’re better fighters. I just think they’re more well known because they fight for a promotion that wants to push their athletes. Again, I have to wait. I want that title. I’m whatever, 5-1 or 6-1 in Strikeforce, with a close loss for my last title fight. I think I deserve that title, and once I have that title, I really want to push to bring in some fresh fighters for all of us, not just for me.”
With a reduced number of events in 2012 it’s even more important to get into the cage sooner than later, yet a perfectly healthy Kennedy has been forced to wait for Rockhold to return instead of being given an opportunity to earn a paycheck in the interim while the middleweight champion heals up from a broken hand.
“They won’t let me fight anybody else. I said I’d fight anybody, but they’re like, ‘No, you’re going to fight Luke’, which is awesome, and now, I’m just waiting. I’ve been waiting for a while and I’m just going to keep waiting and keep training, as if I have a fight in two months. When they finally say, ‘Here it is’, I’ll be ready to go.”
Still no date has been set for Kennedy’s eventual showdown with Rockhold though rumors have placed it as going down in July. Assuming neither man suffers a setback it will be the 32-year old’s first fight since beating Robbie Lawler in mid-2011.
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE