Michael Bisping vs Tim Kennedy targeted for TUF Nations finale main event

Michael Bisping of Great Britain celebrates victory
Michael Bisping will likely get his chance to fight Kennedy at the TUF Nations finale.
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Damon Martin

Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the sport since 2004. His work has been published in CNN, Bleacher Report, MMAWeekly.com, Yahoo! Sports, UFC.com and SportsIllustrated.com. He also co-hosts The Great Debate Radio MMA podcast, and has appeared on ESPN Radio and SportsNet Radio. Follow him on Twitter.


The upcoming Ultimate Fighter Nations: Team Canada vs. Team Australia finale will likely land a top middleweight matchup for the main event if one mitigating factor is eliminated in a timely fashion.

Former Ultimate Fighter winner Michael Bisping has verbally agreed to meet Tim Kennedy at the upcoming show scheduled for April 16 in Canada as the five round, headline bout for the TUF Nations finale card.

Sources close to the situation confirmed the bout to FOX Sports on Saturday, but the fight has not been signed nor have bout agreements been issued for one major reason.

"I was cleared to fight by my doctor. My doctor wrote a letter to the UFC, clearing me 100%. The UFC very kindly offered me a fight against Tim Kennedy. No bout agreements are signed as yet, but unfortunately for me the UFC want to do some more testing to cover their side of things. They don't want anything to go wrong with my eye," Bisping told BT Sport's Beyond the Octagon earlier this week.

"So I've got to do a visual field test, that should be taking place pretty quickly, I'm assuming. I want to get it done ASAP and get this fight locked away."

Sources have confirmed that the UFC is targeting the middleweight bout for the April 16 card, but again it all depends on Bisping's health before the fight can be signed.

Bisping has been sitting on the sidelines for several months after suffering a detached retina in his eye that required surgery and plenty of time to recover. Doctors have always been optimistic about his return to fighting, but it was just a matter of time for the injury to heal.

As for Kennedy, he was just recently meeting with UFC president Dana White for an unknown purpose as he first posted on his Twitter account. Given the timing of the fight with Bisping, it's likely Kennedy's meeting with the UFC president had something to do with their upcoming bout.

So for now both Bisping and Kennedy will target the April 16 date for their middleweight showdown. Once Bisping gets checked out by the UFC doctors and assuming he's cleared to return to action, then bout agreements and a formal announcement for the fight can be made.

The fight and the date are both contingent on Bisping being cleared and doctors approving the time line for his return to action. If his eye isn't deemed ready then the timing of the fight could obviously change, but given the British middleweight's previous statement he doesn't expect any hold ups once he sees the UFC's doctors.

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