Praised by husband Sam Alvey, McKey Sullivan talks role in his career: ‘I’m there for every part of it’
VANCOUVER – Sam Alvey’s post-fight octagon interviews have become a show of their own.
Saturday’s victory speech was no different. After finishing Kevin Casey (9-5-1 MMA, 1-2-1 UFC) in the second round of their UFC on FOX 21 scrap, Alvey (28-8 MMA, 5-3 UFC) took the opportunity to thank a person who’s been a valuable asset in and out of the octagon throughout his career: his wife, McKey Sullivan.
Backstage, it was Sullivan’s turn to talk about the crazy ride by her husband’s side.
“We actually both started picking it up together,” Sullivan said. “He was training at weapons at some school and heard about some pancration tournament and started doing that. And he had nobody to train with, so I became his first training partner-slash-student and we started building a gym from there with his coach.
“He took the fighting style a little more seriously, I took the technical style a little more seriously.”
Alvey, who had already talked to MMAjunkie about his wife’s part on his career, went on to say the first “I told you so” after each loss comes exactly from Sullivan – who, in turn, admitted to being “a little too business” when it comes to her husband’s performances.
In fact, she had some words to say about his latest TKO win.
“I told him a 20-second knockout – What was that? A TKO? Come on,” Sullivan said with a laugh. “Everybody sees these couple of minutes that we’re in the cage, and that is such a small part of what we’ve been working on. We work months. Some fights, we look out for for a whole year before they happen. So we have a whole gam eplan behind it, we’ve got training, we’ve got all the stuff that we worked on. I’m there for every part of it.”
After his third fight in 70 days, the ever-active Alvey has made no secret of his next goal: He wants to fight in Manchester, England, on Oct. 8, on the same card as his mentor and teammate, Dan Henderson.
After challenging Europe’s middle and light heavyweights, he thinks his plan is looking good.
“I’m going to fight Oct. 8 if it kills me,” Alvey said. “I’m going to talk to Joe (Silva) about getting on that card. I’ve been pretty lined up in fights in the last few months. So I’m going to sit down, like, ‘Come on, it’s my coach Dan Henderson. It’s my friend Dan Henderson. Give me a shot to be part of history with him.’”
If Dan Henderson beats middleweight champ Michael Bisping, Alvey was asked, does he really think retirement is on the plans?
“When Dan beats Michael,” Alvey said. “And I love you Michael, I really do. We trained together once or twice and you’re a superstar. If you were fighting anyone else, I’d be pulling for you. But Dan Henderson is the man. He still beats us all up in practice.”
Now riding back-to-back wins after a two-fight skid, Alvey is not in a rush to make his way into the divisional rankings. As much as he likes the big fights, “Smile’n” would rather stay active and take the recognition as it comes.
“I love fighting and I understand those big fights only come around so often,” Alvey said. “So of I have to take – I don’t want to say small fights, because (Casey) is not a small fight. My God, he might be the strongest guy I ever fought against. But as far as rankings go, I will get there. When I’ve earned my spot at the top 10, I will get there.”
For more from both Alvey and Sullivan, check out the video above.
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Trading Shots: On CM Punk’s ‘evolution,’ and his quest to silence the doubters
As the UFC gives us a look at CM Punk’s training leading up to his fight at UFC 203 in September, retired UFC and WEC fighter Danny Downes joins MMAjunkie columnist Ben Fowlkes to discuss the former pro wrestler’s impending foray into the octagon.
Fowlkes: Well Danny, you can tell I ran out of episodes of “Stranger Things,” because recently I fired up the old Fight Pass and started watching this “Evolution of Punk” series that the UFC has helpfully put together to chronicle the martial arts education of one Phil “CM Punk” Brooks.
The series is put together well. It looks cool, feels dramatic. It also relies on a persistent narrative that casts Punk as the regular guy out to prove everybody wrong and inspire others to do whatever people tell them they can’t. And, from his perspective, I believe that he believes it. I also believe that on the UFC’s list of priorities, inspiring people is far, far below selling pay-per-views, which is what this is really about from the company’s point of view.
So I’m torn, Danny. On one hand, I admit I like the idea of seeing a regular-ish guy train to fight in the UFC, if only because it puts the skill and talent of existing MMA fighters into perspective, kind of like a beauty contest with one very average person selected from the crowd for the sake of comparison.
On the other hand, is that really what’s happening here? The people pointing out the absurdity of giving Punk a spot in the UFC while keeping other, far more deserving fighters out, they’re not the stodgy townspeople in some ’80s teen movie who exist only to be proven wrong by the lovable underdog. They’re people offering legitimate criticism of an obvious cash grab. Does that detract from your ability to enjoy the regular-guy-gets-bizarre-shot-in-the-majors story line here?
Downes: Rudy Ruettiger didn’t “deserve” to be on that football field, but we all cheered for him (although you probably complained about it). OK, so CM Punk and Rudy are not exactly perfect comparisons, but the UFC had to humanize the guy somehow. Otherwise you have the MMA version of MTV’s “Made.” How do you sell a 37-year-old with no extensive martial arts experience competing in the UFC? You make it an underdog story.
I understand why some people are upset with Punk getting a fight in the UFC. It seems unfair, but isn’t that a bit juvenile? What do you do when your daughter tells you something isn’t fair? “Well honey, life’s not fair.” I’m sure you do it with an Emerson quote, but the point still stands.
There’s this puritanical strain of MMA fandom that wants to hold onto how it used to be. They romanticize the past and act as if the UFC has always been a stalwart example of meritocracy. Were people this upset about James Toney? And even if they were, it doesn’t seem like it irreparably damaged the sport. Maybe we’ll look back on the Punk fling as an MMA curiosity – like Dennis Hallman’s speedos.
At the end of the day, Punk is an 0-0 fighter whose celebrity afforded him a special opportunity. Even if he were an NCAA wrestling champion who won an ADCC championship, he has no fight experience. He’s going to go out there and look like a guy with no professional fights.
From his physique to the way he hits pads in the warm ups, you and your Twitterati buddies are going to try to nitpick every little thing. LOOK AT THAT JAB! WHAT A LOSER! LOLZ! It’s already been happening since the “Evolution of Punk” episodes premiered. At what point does legitimate concern for the sport end and pettiness begin?
Fowlkes: I can’t say I’m concerned for the sport. Seems to me, Punk’s going to fight – maybe just once, maybe a handful of times – and the UFC’s going to profit from it, then we’ll all resume our regularly scheduled activities. That is, unless he gets seriously maimed somehow. Then we might have ourselves a problem.
But you’re framing this in a strange way, as if the only relevant question is: Will this single-handedly destroy the entire sport? That strikes me as a pretty low bar to clear.
Also seems like you’re jumping right over the fairness question by insisting that fairness basically doesn’t exist, and shouldn’t exist. (And, for the record, if I start telling my daughter that life isn’t fair, how am I then going to insist that she treat her little sister fairly? In parenting, as in chess, Danny, you’ve got to think a few moves ahead.)
It’s not even worth arguing whether it’s fair for Punk to get his UFC shot, because it isn’t. It’s also not worth comparing him to James Toney, who was a multi-division boxing champ. This is just about taking a guy and molding him into a fighter, then throwing him in the cage against a lightly experienced pro for the sake of curiosity.
And, here’s the thing I want to make clear, I’m not saying I can’t get into that idea.
Honestly, watching the UFC series on Punk, what stood out to me was what an interesting idea this would be if he were truly just a regular middle-aged man. If he weren’t someone famous for something else, and if this wasn’t a blatant attempt to cash in on his name, it would be really interesting to see if a non-fighter could become one through rigorous training and single-minded focus.
But don’t dismiss as nitpicking these real concerns about his abilities. You go and watch his training and sparring from just over a year ago, you do not see a UFC-caliber fighter. You don’t even see a Bellator prelims-caliber fighter. I understand he was just starting out and he may be much better now – I hope so, for his sake – but it’s hard not to watch that and feel like this whole thing is just some reality TV project.
(What would happen if we took someone with no musical experience and taught them to play guitar so they could perform with Metallica?! Could they do it? Find out on this season of VH1’s “Make Me a Metallica”!!!)
I’d be curious enough to watch, I have to admit. Only in this case, if the answer is no, they don’t just get embarrassed – they get beat up.
I get the appeal of proving the doubters wrong and showing all the kids out there that they can do anything they set their minds to. I also feel like we may be headed for a very blunt reminder that some doubts exist for a reason.
Downes: I’m not saying that Punk fighting is fine because it won’t ruin the sport. I’m saying there’s a level of false piety I find disconcerting.
It’s fine to have a reaction (whether positive or negative), but it’s important to keep it relative to the “crime.” Whether it’s CM Punk or Sage Northcutt, I find it interesting that the individual fighters receive more condemnation than the organization. We expect a level of altruism from athletes that we don’t require from anyone else. Who’s ever turned down a promotion or raise? “Well boss, I truly appreciate the offer, but I looked at my numbers and I don’t deserve the extra money.”
Also, I think it’s a bit disingenuous for you to say that the critiques of Punk’s training footage are coming from a place of concern. I’m sure you feel the same way about people who write in to the co-main event podcast with corrections. Win or lose, Punk isn’t an allegory for the little guy. He’s not going to have a “Rocky IV” moment where he grabs the microphone and ends global conflict.
When it comes to MMA, there’s a constant conflict between sport and entertainment. We try to keep the two elements in balance, but that’s not always possible. If Punk were fighting in Bellator, you’d probably be praising Scott Coker for being a marketing genius. When it comes to the UFC, though, we expect the organization to be a standard bearer for the sport. Is that a fair expectation? I don’t know.
No matter how he looks in his fight, Punk’s tenure in the UFC will be short. Will he set a precedent for other celebrities to step into the cage? Maybe. Will the UFC rival RIZIN for unorthodox matchmaking? Probably not. I don’t see a super heavyweight tournament starring Baruto coming to the octagon any time soon. It’s OK to be upset. It’s OK to actively root against CM Punk. Let’s just keep things in perspective.
Ben Fowlkes is MMAjunkie and USA TODAY’s MMA columnist. Danny Downes, a retired UFC and WEC fighter, is an MMAjunkie contributor who also writes for UFC.com and UFC 360. Follow them on twitter at @benfowlkesMMA and @dannyboydownes.
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Vancouver rewind: What you got right & wrong
Think you know how the next fight card will play out? Play UFC Pick ‘EmDemian Maia has been making a hard charge towards a shot at the UFC welterweight title, and it’s going to be awfully hard to deny him after an incredibly impressive submission win over former interim champion Carlos Condit on Saturday night.Maia had won five straight bouts coming into the fight, but he picked up his most important victory with a dominant performance in the main event from Vancouver.Maia wasted no time getting Condit to the ground early and quickly wrapped up a rear naked choke as he got the tap less than tw … Read the Full Article Here
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Oops! Anthony Pettis accidentally punched Charles Oliveira back into consciousness at UFC on FOX 21
Anthony Pettis got back into the win column with an impressive third-round submission victory via guillotine over Charles Oliveira last night (Sat., Aug. 27, 2016) in Vancouver, British, Columbia, Canada (see it).
But during his appearance on the Fox Sports post-fight show, “Showtime” revealed that he actually punched “Do Bronx” back into consciousness in round one. But by the time he realized what he he had done, it was too late.
“We all know how it feels, you’re tired, you get out there and you just got to feel it out. I knew he was tired, we were both tired. But in the second round, he exited out a little bit, I had to take a break. In the first round, I saw his eyes roll back, I punched him in the head, his eyes rolled back and I think I punched him back into consciousness. And I was like, ‘damn, I shouldn’t have done that.’ But, you just keep pushing. The corner is there to keep you motivated and that’s why they did and that’s why I have the corner that I have.”
As far as the cut down to 145-pounds, Pettis admits he has some tweaks to make the second time after feeling a little slow in round two. That said, he is confident he can hit the mark again with no troubles for his next outing.
And while he has grand dreams of becoming the promotion’s next two-division champion, he’ll have to win a few more fights in his new division before he can get back to the big dance. Since he suffered little-to-no damage in his Featherweight debut, Anthony can get back into the swing of things sooner than later.
Anyone care to offer up suggestions for his next challenge?
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UFC On FOX 21 Results: Demian Maia Chokes Out Carlos Condit
Demian Maia made sure to state his case Saturday night in the main event of UFC on FOX 21, scoring a first round submission over Carlos Condit.
With the win, Maia improved to 6-0 in his last six fights, including wins over Condit, Matt Brown and Neil Magny.
In the co-main event, former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis defeated Charles Oliveira with a third round guillotine choke, snapping a three-fight losing skid for “Showtime.” It marked his third straight win over a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, having also previously bested Benson Henderson and Gilbert Melendez.
Paige VanZant made her return to action with a second round knockout of Bec Rawlings, while Jim Miller pushed his career mark vs. Joe Lauzon to 2-0 with a split decision win.
Demian Maia def. Carlos Condit via submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:52 of Round 1
Anthony Pettis def. Charles Oliveira via submission (guillotine choke) at 1:49 of Round 3
Paige VanZant def. Bec Rawlings via KO (head-kick) at :17 of Round 2
Jim Miller def. Joe Lauzon via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Sam Alvey def. Kevin Casey via TKO (strikes) at 4:56 of Round 2
Kyle Bochniak def. Enrique Barzola via split decision (29-28, 27-30, 29-28)
Alessio Di Chirico def. Garreth McLellan via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Felipe Silva def. Shane Campbell via TKO (strikes) at 1:13 of Round 1
Chad Laprise def. Thibault Gouti via TKO (strikes) at 1:36 of Round 1
Jeremy Kennedy def. Alessandro Ricci via unanimous decision (30-2
7, 30-27, 30-27)
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Reebok payouts for UFC on FOX 21: ‘Condit vs. Maia’ totals $147,500
UFC on FOX 21 went down last night (Sat., Aug. 26, 2016) inside the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and now it’s time to see who went home with the largest slice of the Reebok sponsorship pie.
For complete UFC on FOX 21: “Condit vs. Maia” results and play-by-play, click here.
Jim Miller and Joe Lauzon were two of the three men that took home the biggest slice of the pie, as each walked away with a $20,000 sponsorship check from Reebok after their thrilling Lightweight affair (highlights here).
Event headliner and winner, Demian Maia, was the third man to earn himself a cool $20K check from the sports apparel giant with his victory over Carlos Condit; who took home $15,000 sponsorship check in defeat (full video highlights here).
Check out the rest of the payouts courtesy of MMA Junkie:
Demian Maia: $20,000 def. Carlos Condit: $15,000
Anthony Pettis: $15,000 def. Charles Oliveira: $15,000
Paige VanZant: $2,500 def. Bec Rawlings: $2,500
Jim Miller: $20,000 def. Joe Lauzon: $20,000
Sam Alvey: $5,000 def. Kevin Casey: $5,000
Kyle Bochniak: $2,500 def. Enrique Barzola: $2,500
Alessio Di Chirico: $2,500 def. Garreth McLellan: $2,500
Felipe Silva: $2,500 def. Shane Campbell: $2,500
Chad Laprise: $5,000 def. Thibault Gouti: $2,500
Jeremy Kennedy: $2,500 def. Alessandro Ricci: $2,500
So, how are payouts determined?
According to the revamped payout structure (see it), the more fights you have combined with UFC and the now-defunct World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) and Strikeforce promotions, the more coin you have for your combat sports piggy bank.
And the less fights you have under the ZUFFA banner… well, the less you get. If you have a problem with the structure, take it up with UFC, not Reebok.
According to the report, fighters will also receive royalty and payments up to 20-30 percent of any UFC-related merchandise sold that bears his or her likeness. That’s a great way for the Internet “morons” to help the cause.
The post Reebok payouts for UFC on FOX 21: ‘Condit vs. Maia’ totals $147,500 appeared first on Fightline.com.
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UFC on Fox 21 Results: Matches to Make for the Winners and Losers
UFC on Fox 21 was a fun-filled event with six of the 10 fights ending with a finish, none more impressive than the main event.
Demian Maia made Carlos Condit tap out within the first two minutes of their scheduled five-round affair. Maia secured an early takedown, advanced position and sunk in the rear-naked choke. Condit now faces serious internal questions while Maia has his eyes on the ultimate prize.
The highlight of the evening came when Paige VanZant landed a jumping switch kick to the noggin of Bec Rawlings. The kick put Rawlings on the mat and VanZant finished with a swarm of hammerfists.
Anthony Pettis made a statement in his featherweight debut, and Jim Miller and Joe Lauzon put on another event-stealing scrap. It was a main card to remember.
UFC matchmakers have their work cut out for them in determining what fights will be made next. Never fear because help is here. The recommendations are just a click away, Mr. Silva and Mr. Shelby. Send that “Thank You” card in the mail.
Hit next to find out where the UFC should go for all their matchmaking quandaries for the UFC on Fox 21 participants.
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Joe Silva’s Shoes: What’s next for Carlos Condit, UFC on FOX 21’s other losing fighters?
While Saturday’s four-fight UFC on FOX 21 main card seemed poised for competitive matchups, the end result was a mix of narrow and decisive outcomes capped off by Demian Maia’s (24-6 MMA, 18-6 UFC) first-round submission of Carlos Condit (30-10 MMA, 7-6 UFC) in the FOX-televised headliner at Rogers Arena in Vancouver.
Earlier in the night, Charles Oliveira (21-6 MMA, 9-6 UFC) suffered his first submission loss since 2010, Bec Rawlings (7-5 MMA, 2-2 UFC) was halted with a wild knockout, and Joe Lauzon (26-12 MMA, 13-9 UFC) came up short in the “Fight of the Night.”
After every event, fans wonder whom the losers will be matched up with next. And with another night of UFC action in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look forward, put on a pair of Joe Silva and Sean Shelby’s shoes, and play UFC matchmaker for UFC on FOX 21’s losing fighters.
* * * *
Should fight: James Krause
Why they should fight: The overwhelming majority of people who watched Lauzon’s fight with Jim Miller believed he should have taken the victory. Instead, he suffered a split-decision loss to fall to 0-2 in matchups with Miller, something he can’t be all that pleased about.
Lauzon should be treated as if he got the victory in the lightweight contest, moving on to fight another notable name at 155 pounds. Pretty much any fight that’s made for “J-Lau” is going to be good, as is evident by his record-tying 15 fight-night bonuses, and a showdown with Krause (23-7 MMA, 4-3 UFC) would give him a good chance at 16.
Krause has earned back-to-back victories against Shane Campbell and Daron Cruickshank, but the former is no longer with the UFC and the latter has lost three fights in a row. Because of that, it can’t be argued that the fight doesn’t make sense.
Should fight: Nina Ansaroff
Why they should fight: It’s never fun to be on the wrong end of a spectacular knockout loss, which is what happened to Rawlings against Paige VanZant, but “Rowdy” can at least take some solace in the fact she was winning the fight up until the point she was caught with a jumping switch kick knockout.
Rawlings is not boring to watch, nor is she unworthy of a UFC roster spot. She might not ever contend for the title, but she can provide worthwhile matchups in the strawweight division against other mid-tier members of the weight class.
Ansaroff (6-5 MMA, 0-2 UFC) is somewhat in the same boat, though her career is in a little more of a desperate stage because she’s failed to register a UFC victory in two tries. Another loss would put her in the danger zone, but that’s what would make a fight against Rawlings so interesting.
Should fight: Tatsuya Kawajiri
Why they should fight: Oliveira again came up short in what was one of the truly great opportunities of his career to break into the next level of the sport. He suffered a third-round submission loss to former UFC and WEC champion Anthony Pettis, once again forcing him back to the drawing board.
Oliveira is and likely always will be one of the great submission threats in the UFC featherweight division. He fought well against “Showtime,” but just didn’t have quite enough to get over the hump and take the victory.
“Do Bronx” is still a top-tier featherweight and at only 26, will likely still have more chances to participate in headline-worthy fights. For now, though, a matchup with Kawajiri (35-10-2 MMA, 3-3 UFC) would be a delight to watch.
The potential fight would pit a true and well-traveled veteran of the sport against a dangerous and much younger fighters. Kawajiri’s brute-force style against Oliveira’s slick skills would be a must-watch.
Should fight: Retirement or Matt Brown
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why Condit should fight Brown (20-15 MMA, 13-10 UFC) next if he decides not to retire from MMA competition.
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UFC on FOX 21’s Chad Laprise is now a welterweight, wants Ross Pearson rematch in Toronto
VANCOUVER – Chad Laprise’s UFC on FOX 21 fight was an important one for a few reasons.
Not only did it break a dangerous two-fight skid, but it also motivated Laprise (11-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) to make a “healthier” move to the 170-pound division. After stopping Thibault Gouti (11-3 MMA, 0-3 UFC) less than two minutes into their catchweight bout, he apologized for missing the 155-pound limit, saying he’s done making it.
“I’m a really big lightweight – I get up over 200 pounds sometimes,” Gouti said. “The weight cut is always a struggle. I’ve been thinking about going up to welterweight for a while and I think the time is now.
“The weight just wasn’t coming off. I was at 159 pounds and it just wouldn’t come off anymore. So I apologize to Thibault, I apologize to the UFC. It’s very unprofessional, and I’m going to do my next fight at 170.”
The catchweight bout was part of the preliminary card of Saturday’s UFC on FOX 21 event at Rogers Arena in Vancouver. It streamed on UFC Fight Pass ahead of additional prelims and a main card on FOX.
Laprise, who said he knew five weeks prior to the scrap that he would have a tough time making the lightweight limit, believes the move will allow his bigger frame some relief.
“It’s always a struggle – it kills me to make 155,” Laprise said. “Even tonight, I’m 180 pounds. Fight nigh, the biggest I’ve been is 184. I’m a really big guy for lightweight.
“So I just feel like my body will be healthier at 170, and I can walk around at near fighting weight instead of having these drastic weight cuts with no IV (rehydration).”
With the TKO win, Laprise bounced back from back-to-back losses against Francisco Trinaldo and, most recently, Ross Pearson. The latter, Laprise said, is one he would like to get back. And if he could fight just two hours away from his home in London, Ontario, when UFC 206 lands in Toronto on Dec. 10?
Now that would be just perfect.
“I’m down (to fight Ross Pearson),” Laprise said. “And I know Ross fought at 170 against (Jorge) Masvidal. So if me and Ross can do it at 170 in Toronto, that would be a dream come true. That would be amazing.”
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After victorious 155-pound UFC debut, Jeremy Kennedy willing to fight Lobov for featherweight spot
Jeremy Kennedy’s octagon debut at Saturday’s UFC on FOX 21 went pretty much like he wanted, except for one detail: the weight division.
Kennedy (9-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) moved up to make his inaugural UFC outing as a lightweight. But, after unanimously defeating Alessandro Ricci (10-4 MMA, 0-1 UFC) to maintain his unblemished professional record, he hopes he’s done enough to make his way back into his original featherweight class.
“I don’t know what the UFC has in store, but I’m a ’45er,” Kennedy said. “That’s my weight class. I woke up on weight. I just starved myself a little bit and I woke up (Friday) at 155, so – to be at the highest level and to be given this disadvantage at size just doesn’t make sense to me.
“I’m young. Eventually, I’ll be a ’55er, but right now I’m a ’45er – that’s what I am. I think that’s the plan: Just go down. I was watching a lot of these ’45ers fight once I got signed, and I was like, ‘That’s my division, man.’ Looking at those guys, I can compete with any of them. So that’s my chance to prove it. I’m glad I got to come in at ’55, win at ’55 and just drop down. That’s the plan.”
The lightweight bout opened up the preliminary card of Saturday’s UFC on FOX 21 event at Rogers Arena in Vancouver. It streamed on UFC Fight Pass ahead of additional prelims and a main card on FOX.
Originally scheduled to face Josh Emmet, Kennedy said he had a harder fight than expected against Ricci. But, in spite of the difficulties of handling an opponent bigger than his regular competition, he’s happy with the way the battle played out.
“It was a lot tougher than I thought,” Kennedy said. “But, going up in weight class, I kind of expected that – carrying a heavier body around and taking those bigger shots and stuff like that. But it went the way I wanted to. I got my hand raised. I felt I won every round. That’s the way we planned that.”
Kennedy’s plans to get back to his original division are clear. But, in case the UFC is not about to just hand him the featherweight spot, he is willing to fight for it.
“There’s guys – not to call anyone out, but Artem (Lobov),” Kennedy said. “Those guys are just holding up spots in that division. That’s why I’m not allowed – that’s why we’re not signed as featherweights, it’s because there’s not enough room there. But you’ve got guys like him. Let’s fight – let’s see who can hang in the featherweight division. I’ll fight him for that spot. I want to be at 145.
“I watched his fight with (Chris) Avila. That was the most recent thing. There’s lots of guys. I think I match up great against guys like Alex Caceres and Yair Rodriguez. From the (top) 15 down, or even up, if you want to throw me in with them, I’m sure I’ll contend.
“I’m young. I’m 23. I think I can be competing with all those guys at ’45. There should be no reason why I’m giving up a 10-pound disadvantage if I don’t have to.”
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