Former US soldier Tim Kennedy hasn't been in the Octagon since UFC 178, and he thinks he knows why. Kennedy says he's being punished for his outspoken views on fighter's pay in the UFC.
In a recent interview with Jonathan Shrager of The Underground, the 36 year old says he earns more now than he ever did in the UFC:
No. I like fighting. I love fighting. I make, like, three or four-times more when I don't fight than when I do fight. And, I'm one of the higher-paid guys in the UFC, which is remarkably tragic and pathetic. So, the work that I do on a normal, day-to-day basis is way more exciting than stepping into the Octagon.
Not only does Kennedy not make as much in the Octagon, he's not even allowed to wear his own apparel when fighting in the UFC due to the UFC's deal with Reebok. Kennedy says he was scolded by UFC president Dana White for his criticizing of the drop in pay since the UFC partnership with Reebok:
I got my hand slapped for talking about fighter pay. That was a big one. I had Dana White yell at me in front of, like, 20 other fighters. And, I'm sure you see how quiet I got about fighter pay. No. Still the same. Same thing about Reebok. Then, they ultimately tried to affect me in different ways - maybe not letting me fight.
Even though Kennedy got an earful from White, he has no plans on keeping his opinions quiet:
Setting his opinions aside and clearly not minding a lower paycheck, Kennedy still wants to fight. He took to Twitter yesterday to call out Dan Henderson. Henderson was slated to fight Lyoto Machida at UFC 199, but, well, Machida has his own problems right now.
Unfortunately for Kennedy, White and the UFC have other plans for Henderson. They're looking to potentially have Hector Lombard take Machida's place in Los Angeles in June for UFC 199.