After initially deciding he’s simply ignore fellow middleweight Tim Kennedy, UFC vet Michael Bisping said he finally had a reason to quit ignoring him and why he’d fight him: “I just really, really want to punch him in the face.”

Bisping, the featured guest at a Q&A session this past week ahead of UFC Fight Night 33 in Australia, talked about the duo’s feud and why he’d be willing to fight him once he returns from a detached retina that threatened his career.

Bisping (24-5 MMA, 14-5 UFC) is ranked No. 5 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings, and Kennedy (17-4 MMA, 2-0 UFC) is No. 15. So why is Bisping willing to fight him?

“Here’s the thing, and the answer is very, very simple why I would even entertain a fight with Tim Kennedy,” Bisping said. “Listen, he’s had two fights in the UFC against no marks, and he didn’t even look that good in those fights. And he’s been calling me out for years, OK?

“At the start, I didn’t want to respond to any of his tweets and things like that because it’s giving him what he wants. He’s trying to create a buzz, to create a bit of hype about himself.”

And though he wanted to fight someone higher ranked to help his title hopes, Bisping ultimately changed his mind.

“He’s been going on that much,” he said. “He’s really driving me up the wall, to keep it polite for the children in the room. I just really, really want to punch him in the face. So I might as well get paid for it. … I might as well call the UFC, beat him up, and get paid.”

Bisping, whose career nearly came to an end because of the eye injury, recently got clearance to resume training. He recently told MMAjunkie he’s planning to return to the cage in March or April, though a March 8 UFC European Tour stop in London likely will be too soon, the English fighter said.

Check out his full Q&A session above.

And for more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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