Of course, last night’s UFC FN 31 headliner will be remembered for the crushing left hand Tim Kennedy used to put away Rafael Natal, but early on in the fight it was the latter who landed more strikes. Kennedy never was in trouble and he kept purusing Natal, but if not for the fight ending blow, round one probably would have gone to “Sapao.”
Well, a reason for this could be because Kennedy was apparently injured heading into the fight. Not only that, but it was a leg injury, which could explain why he appeared to be a step behind Natal, until, well, that leaping left hook. Speaking to the media afterwards, the decorated soldier revealed he tore his quad during the last week of his training camp, and here’s how (comments via MMA Fighting.com):
“I tore my quad coming into this camp,” Kennedy said “The very last week of fight camp, just a stupid thing happened. A lady walked over the track and it was either run over a 65 year-old lady – probably kill her – or try to decelerate in about two meters. I chose to decelerate and just fell to the ground, grabbing my leg screaming not great words.”
“If they had to roll me into the cage to fight Natal, I would’ve fought him,” Kennedy continued. “In the cage, once they hoisted me up and lifted me into the cage, Natal would’ve had to shoot me and bludgeon me to death until I quit.”
So, if you weren’t impressed with Kennedy’s performance before, this news might change that. It was certainly a massive win for the vet, who although he defeated Roger Gracie by UD in his Octagon debut, it didn’t electrify audiences like last night’s KO.
Now it will be interesting to see who Kennedy fights next. Considering his run in Strikeforce and his recent wins with the UFC, chances are it will be top ten middleweight.
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