This is a tale as old as the Strikeforce / Showtime team-up: the fighter who can’t get a fight to save his life. I’ve lost count of the guys who have bitched about lengthy layoffs and an inability to find an opponent. If you’ve got a list, you can add Tim Kennedy to it:
“It’s absolutely atrocious. Strikeforce approached me for the December and January card. I said, ‘definitely, just give me a name and I’ll take the fight.’ Benji Radach was the name, I said yes. Then they tell me he doesn’t want to fight me. Joey Villasenor was another name, but I understand him saying no because we trained at Jackson’s gym together. Matt Lindland was another guy who said no. Robbie Lawler has turned me down three or maybe four times. They asked Melvin Manhoef to fight me and he said ‘[expletive] no.’”
“I’m super frustrated with it. This is a pugilistic sport, is it not? It is the nature of the sport to fight each other, but nobody wants to fight me. Do I say, ‘Screw it, give me my uniform back, give me my long gun back and I’ll go back on the sniper range’? Or do I keep waiting these guys out until, in a battle of attrition, somebody gives up and says ‘Tim is the only guy who I can fight, so I’ll take that’?”
I have my doubts that it’s fighters turning down Tim Kennedy and not Showtime executives. Why would Benji Radach turn down Tim Kennedy when he was willing to fight relative unknown Ovince St. Preux one weight class up?
We know Scott Coker is all about solid fights that no one cares about – hell, he’s talking about Gilbert Melendez versus Tatsuya Kawajiri. Let me tell you right now that everyone interested in that fight wears glasses and got stuffed into lockers all through highschool. There’s a big difference between fights that Scott wants to do and the fights that Showtime is interested in featuring on their shows.
If someone gave enough of a shit about Kennedy to push through a fight, it’d be pushed through. As it stands, he’s just another guy cooling his jets on the sidelines because his organization still has some serious matchmaking issues they need to sort out.