Heading into his middleweight bout with Rashad Evans at UFC 205 on Nov. 12 in New York City, Tim Kennedy believes that familiarity will be his ally, but not in the conventional sense.
Having previously trained with Evans, Kennedy believes that his opponent will be expecting that version of him, and will not be ready for what he’s actually able to bring to a full-on MMA match.
Speaking to the UFC Unfiltered podcast, Kennedy was asked how he matches up with Evans. And at first, Kennedy let it be known that he and Evans are closer skill-wise than further apart.
“I think we really complement each other,” Kennedy said. “I think we have a really great opportunity to put on a fantastic fight.
“I’ve trained with him. He is a very well-rounded martial artist. He has good boxing. He has great wrestling. He has fantastic submission defense. He’s such a veteran with such a vast amount of experience that I think we match up well.”
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Kennedy then let it be known that their time working together could ultimately lead Evans to fall into a false sense of security and possibly cost him the fight.
“Obviously, (Evans) doesn’t want to be on the ground with me,” said Kennedy. “If I were him, I would try to sprawl and brawl my way to a decision, because I don’t think he can knock me out. So there’s a lot of potential there for a fantastic fight.
“I think he underestimates my hands. As training partners, we’re not blasting each other. I think he’s going to remember what I was like in the training room, and not remember that we’re actually in a fight.”