Round 1 – Kennedy shoots for a single-leg takedown and continues working for it against the cage. Bisping tries to fight it off, but Kennedy pulls his legs out from under him and forces Bisping to a sitting position. He flattens him out and works from inside Bisping’s half guard. Kennedy stays close while on top. Bisping tries to scramble free and gets his back to the cage. Bisping works punches to the ribs while trying to get back up. Bisping is upright, but Kennedy clings to his back and takes knees to the legs. Bisping tries to break the grip, but Kennedy takes him back down. He tries to throw big punches from the top, but Bisping easily deflects them. Kennedy now moves to mount with a minute to go. Bisping gives up his back, and Kennedy looks for the rear-naked choke. Bisping rolls, though, and pulls Kennedy into half guard. Kennedy lands a nice elbow from the top before the round ends. It’s all Kennedy, 10-9.
Round 2 – Bisping stalks to open the second round and backs Kennedy to the cage. However, he doesn’t swing once there, and Kennedy circles away. They engage again in the center of the cage. Bisping throws some kicks that Kennedy easily avoids. Bipsing lands a left. Kennedy lands a nice right and then follows up with another. Kennedy fakes a shot, but Bisping easily snuffs it out. Bisping backs him to the cage and looks a little more composed with his standup. Kennedy shoots and grabs a single leg, but Kennedy puts his back against the cage to try to fend it off. Bisping eventually wins the battle and pushes Kennedy away to restart. Bisping partially connects on a flying knee and counters Kennedy with a solid right. He does it again with a left. Bisping again backs him up and lands a combo. Kennedy partially lands a right, but Bisping answers before the round ends. Bisping’s on the board with a 10-9 round to tie it up.
Round 3 – Kennedy appears to have lost a step, and Bisping seems a lot fresher. Bisping goes headhunting early before resetting. Kennedy, though, lands a right and then shoots and gets the takedown. He’s now on top in half guard and where he wants to be. Kennedy can’t do much from the top, but Bisping is stuck on his back. Kennedy moves to side control. Bisping looks to control an arm and threatens with a kimura, but Kennedy muscles out of it. Bisping gets half guard again, and Kennedy looks for punches and elbows from the top. Kennedy now moves to mount as Bisping tries to pull him close. Kennedy postures up for some ground and pound. Bisping wall-walks and tries to get free, but Kennedy is smothering from the top and closes out the round there. Kennedy takes it 10-9 to get the 29-28 lead.
Round 4 – Kennedy is now dictating the pace and controlling the center of the cage. They clash with leg kicks before Kennedy whiffs on a left. Bisping with a jab. Kennedy takes a deep breath and whiffs again. He shoots for a single-leg takedown and puts Bisping against the cage, and after some effort, he breaks free. Bisping now stalks as Kennedy backs to the cage. Kennedy lands a looping right, and they then trade punches. Kennedy with another right, and he then shoots again. Kennedy tries to fight it off and successfully breaks free. Bisping lands a left, but Kennedy answers. Kennedy then gets through a combo, and Bisping may be dazed. A left lands for Kennedy, but Bisping appears to have recovered. They trade power punches, and Bisping lands a high body kick. Kennedy with a right, and they’re both now bloodied. It’s a close round, but Kennedy gets it 10-9 due to the cleaner shots.
Round 5 – Kennedy with a lunging punch to open the final frame. Kennedy considers shooting for a takedown, but Bisping is ready. Kennedy finally shoots, gets the body lock, and forces the fight to the mat. Bisping immediately tries to get up, but Kennedy takes him down again. Kennedy moves to mount, and Bisping tries to kick his way free. Kennedy takes his back and again flattens out Bisping. Kennedy again returns to the mount position but Bisping pulls him back in and gets a standup. Bisping turns it up a notch knowing he needs the finish. He lands a combo and looks for a head kick, but Kennedy checks it out. Kennedy with some straight punches. A minute to go. Bisping looks for a big right, but Kennedy in defensive mode. Kennedy ducks a punch and lands a combo. He does it again, and then again. There’s not much on the punches, though. MMAjunkie scores a close one 10-9 for Bisping for an overall 48-47 win for Kennedy.
Result: Tim Kennedy def. Michael Bisping via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 50-45)