SURREY — Jeremy Kennedy has been accustomed to two things throughout his Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) career – winning and travelling.
Although he’s accustomed to winning, Kennedy did drop his first decision as an MMA fighter earlier this year. He lost an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) bout to Alexander Volkanovski in February, bringing his career record to 11-1.
However, the travelling won’t be coming to an end anytime soon, after he signed a one-year, three-fight deal with Brave CF. The MMA association is based in Bahrain and hosts fights in various locations throughout Northern Africa and the Middle East.
Kennedy, 25, will have his first fight in Morocco on Aug. 18th, against Italian opponent Danyel Pilo.
“It was pretty exciting at first, just a breath of fresh air,” Kennedy said. “Just the chance to go somewhere I’ve never been before is a real exciting opportunity.
“Most of my career has been all about travelling and destination fights but now I’ll be adding another continent in Africa that I’ve never been to, so that’s exciting.”
To many, it may have come as a surprise to hear that Kennedy wouldn’t immediately be returning to the UFC. He’s one of the top featherweight prospects in Canada, and is ranked 37th worldwide in that category. But when a deal with the UFC didn’t materialize immediately, Kennedy jumped on the opportunity to continue fighting elsewhere.
“Going back to the UFC is always a goal I’ll have in mind,” he said. “That being said, if things are going good with Brave, they’re keeping me busy and the money is good, I don’t mind staying there either.”
Kennedy’s notoriety as a UFC fighter is being recognized by Brave, as his fight against Pilo is the main event during the August showcase.
“It’s pretty cool for me that it’s the first show I’m doing there and I’m the main event,” said Kennedy.
The Surrey fighter believes that experience being on the big stage should give him an advantage against Pilo. Although Pilo’s career record of 10-1-2 is similar to Kennedy’s, the Italian doesn’t have that same experience fighting in front of larger crowds.
“He’s very well-rounded, our records are very similar, but we’ve been in very different playing fields,” Kennedy said. “He hasn’t left Italy whereas my last five or six fights have been all around the world.”
“I think, especially in this fight, I can beat him everywhere and that’s what excites me the most. Whether its grappling or striking, I’m comfortable with either. Because of that I can use the skills I’ve been working on in Vegas recently and really apply that in the cage.”
“It’s just the experience I’ve gained over the last few years that puts me in a good position.”