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TUF Nations Finale: Bisping vs. Kennedy
By: Mark Kern - StatFox
Published: 4/16/2014  at  4:08:00 AM
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TUF Nations Finale: Bisping vs. Kennedy

Wednesday, April 16 Ė 10:00 p.m. ET
Quebec City, Canada

Michael Bisping (25-5) vs. Tim Kennedy (17-4)

5-Round Middleweight bout
Line: Bisping -200, Kennedy +165

Michael Bisping and Tim Kennedy will square off in the main event at the TUF Nations Finale in Quebec City on Wednesday.

Bisping is coming off a victory at UFC 159 against Alan Belcher that occurred nearly one year ago on April 27, 2013. He was able to secure the victory in the third round by unanimous decision in a match he completely dominated, out-striking his opponent 93 to 29. However, he has been up and down recently, going 2-2 in his past four matches. Bisping has faced some of the very best the sport has to offer, competing against guys such as Rashad Evans, Chael Sonnen and Dan Henderson. This experience should go a long way in helping him against the talented Tim Kennedy. Kennedy has only been in the UFC for two fights, but has shown a lot of promise by winning both of them. After dominating Roger Gracie (54 strikes to 12) last July for a unanimous decision win, Kennedy delivered a vicious knockout victory in the first round against Rafael Natal at UFC Fight Night 31 in his most recent bout on Nov. 6. Kennedy is a very talented fighter, who is 5-1 in his past six bouts, but will be facing a challenge he has not yet been up against in his career. However, this is his opportunity to show how good of fighter he can be, and KENNEDY will manage to score a huge upset.

Kennedy comes into this match with 17 career victories, including eight by way of knockout. He also has six wins by submission and three by decision. Kennedy has eight first-round finishes, but has also shown great stamina by going five rounds twice. The 34-year-old Kennedy is a terrific wrestler, and will have a big advantage in this fight at being able to take Bisping to the ground. Kennedy has a 2.63 takedown average, while Bisping averages only 1.82. Bisping is more accurate when it comes to his takedowns though at 45 percent, compared to 37 percent for Kennedy. This is the type of match where both fighters are going to want to dictate the pace, so look for Kennedy to be aggressive and constantly try to take Bisping to the ground. Part of what enables him to take his opponent to the ground is his great ability to defend against the takedown (78 percent). While he does have eight knockout victories in his career, he has not gone up against anybody that has the striking ability of Bisping. Kennedy, a California native who currently fights out of Austin, TX, will need to be careful and pick his spots for when to throw the punch, because if he isnít careful, Bisping can end a fight in a hurry.

Bisping has 25 victories in his career, with 16 of them coming by way of knockout. He also has six wins by decision, and three by way of submission. The 35-year-old will have a huge advantage in striking, as "The Count" lands 4.62 significant strikes per minute, compared to only 2.86 for Kennedy. He is also a better striking defender at 71%, compared to 66% for Kennedy. While Bisping does a great job of throwing punches, he also has the ability to knock his opponent out with vicious knees and even a leg kick, and these skills have earned him the Fight of the Night bonus three times in his UFC career. Bisping, who hails from Manchester, England, is an extremely confident fighter that will not back down from anybody, and he is also the type of fighter that is going to push the tempo early. If the 6-foot-2 Bisping, who stands three inches taller than his opponent, can get rolling early and get into his comfort zone, look out. Bisping is very familiar with TUF too, having won it all in the show's third season before coaching a pair of TUF winners in Ross Pearson and James Wilks.

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