Vitor Belfort was hoping to get a shot at the winner between Chris Weidman and Anderson Silva, but with that possibility in the rearview mirror it looks like he’ll have to get through someone else in the meantime.
Tim Kennedy (16-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC) on Friday said he’ll be fighting Belfort (23-10 MMA, 12-6 UFC) on an upcoming UFC card in Belfort’s home country of Brazil.
Kennedy made the declaration on his official Twitter account. Although the UFC hasn’t made an official announcement of the fight booking, UFC President Dana White told MMAFighting.com the bout was being put together.
Kennedy didn’t say when the bout would take place. The UFC has two announced upcoming cards in Brazil. UFC 163 takes place next week in Rio de Janeiro, and UFC Fight Night 28 takes place Sept. 4 in Belo Horizonte. Both of those cards are full, so it’s likely the fight would head to a show later this fall.
Marshall Zelaznik, the UFC’s director of international development, earlier this week told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that he could not confirm a rumored Oct. 9 card in Brazil, but that the promotion indeed is planning additional trips to the South American country before the year is out.
Belfort is coming off back-to-back head-kick knockouts, both of which earned him “Knockout of the Night” bonus awards. At UFC on FX 7 in January, he landed a head kick against Michael Bisping and stopped him with punches moments later in the main event. And at UFC on FX 8 in May, he caught former Strikeforce middleweight champ Luke Rockhold with a spinning heel kick.
Prior to that, the former UFC light heavyweight champ and heavyweight tournament winner lost a light-heavyweight title fight against champion Jon Jones at UFC 152. In 2011, he lost a middleweight title fight to then-champ Silva. He was hoping for another shot at Silva if Silva got past Weidman earlier this month. But that didn’t happen; Silva lost, and White ordered up a rematch set for UFC 168 in December.
Kennedy won his UFC debut earlier this month with a unanimous decision victory over Roger Gracie at UFC 162. But that win left him feeling unhappy about his performance and looking for a measure of redemption his next time out. Now he apparently knows who that will come against.
Prior to his win against Gracie, he submitted Trevor Smith in the third round at Strikeforce’s promotional finale in January. That got him back in the win column after a loss to Rockhold in a Strikeforce 185-pound title fight. Overall, like Belfort, he has won four of his past five fights.
For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.
(Pictured: Tim Kennedy)
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