Surrey-raised Jeremy Kennedy keeps winning and rising up the MMA rankings with the Bellator promotion.
On Saturday (Feb. 25), the featherweight fighter was in Dublin, Ireland, where he took down the home-town favourite Pedro Carvalho at the Bellator 291 event and moved a step closer to a title shot.
Kennedy, now 19-3 (wins, losses), used his grappling to control Carvalho on the ground for three rounds.
It was a unanimous decision for Kennedy, 30, who went in ranked third, two lower than the #3 Carvalho.
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Both Kennedy and Carvalho saw the bout as a title eliminator, with the No. 1 contender ranking on the line and champion Patricio “Pitbull” Freire of Brazil waiting in the wings.
“I believe I’ve been the number one (contender) the whole time, and I think this just proves it,” Kennedy said after the fight.
The man nicknamed “JBC” said he got the job done in Dublin despite feeling poorly ahead of the fight.
“Even on my worst day, I can 30-27 these guys,” Kennedy said, referring to the three judges’ scores. “So that’s the statement I’m making here.”
Kennedy, who grew up in the Fleetwood area of Surrey and now now lives in Las Vegas, called out the champion.
“Pitbull. That’s the only fight. That’s the fight right now, that title fight.”
Kennedy has become one of Bellator’s highest touted competitors with his tenacious wrestling and relentless pressure.
In his last bout in October, he was up against higher-ranked featherweight Aaron Pico at Bellator 286 at Long Beach Arena in California, Pico’s home state. In a back-and-forth first round, Pico dislocated his shoulder, resulting in a TKO victory for Kennedy.
Kennedy has won four of his first five outings under the Bellator banner. The fights he’s won (in Bellator, UFC and other promos) are tattooed as notches on his left rib cage.
with file from The Canadian Press