Despite his opponent calling him a dirty fighter, UFC middleweight Tim Kennedy claims he won't attack the right eye that has plagued Michael Bisping for the last year.
The former Strikeforce middleweight title challenger and his British opponent have been embroiled in a war of words for the last few months, ahead of their TUF Nations Finale headliner later this month. However, Kennedy has taken offence to being referred to as a dirty fighter, saying Bisping's opinion was 'invalid'.
â€śAnybody that's ever seen me fight knows that that is idiotic,â€ť Kennedy said. â€śI think I'm one of the cleanest fighters ever and in my 20-plus fights I think I've had one or two accidental groin shots, never an eye poke. I don't think I've ever grabbed the fence, never grabbed shorts or kneed a downed opponent and I've never spat on a corner.â€ť
When asked if he would target Bisping's eye, which has kept 'The Count' out of action for nearly a year due to a detached retina, Kennedy stated firmly that although he was well aware of the advantage it would bring him he wanted a clean win.
â€śI won't try to attack his eye. I was asked if I'm a clean fighter and that's what I am. I understand that we have a window of opportunity to end the fight and that window shrinks. If he's injured I don't want to affect the rest of his life for our fight. I'm there to win a fight and I'm there to win fairly by knockout or submission.â€ť
Kennedy, who is Staff Sergeant in the Texas Army National Guard, was also quick to explain why he believes the war of words against Bisping will have a negative affect on the number five ranked middleweight.
â€śHopefully I'm pushing his buttons,â€ť he explained to UFC insider Ariel Helwani.Â â€śAn emotional fighter isn't a good fighter but that's not why I'm doing it. I'm doing it because he's easy to make fun of and he's a jerk. I've got a lot of respect for him as a fighter but some of the shenanigans he's pulled in the past are worthy to be made fun of.â€ť
Bisping vs. Kennedy headlines The Ultimate Fighter Nations Finale in Quebec City, Canada on April 16th.