Boestch would be a suitable opponent for Kennedy on a couple of levels. He’s already in the midst of training for an October 26 match-up with C.B. Dollaway, so Boestch is definitely in shape to fight on November 6, and scrapping their preliminary pairing wouldn’t hurt UFC 166 since the show is stacked. Boetsch also has a bit of name value, so he’s an appealing adversary from that standpoint as well. Throw in a fairly well-rounded skill-set and a reputation for finishing foes, and you’ve got an excellent option when it comes to finding Kennedy’s new opponent.
Kennedy loves to grapple and Carmont could definitely give him a test in that regard. The 6’3” Frenchman’s takedowns and top control made Costa Philippou look like a fish out of water at UFC 165, but repeating the feat against Kennedy is a different story altogether. He’s on an impressive winning streak including a 6-0 mark in the Octagon, so he’s definitely got the career momentum to justify a headlining spot, plus beating a fighter with Kennedy’s name recognition would further boost his claim to getting a clash for top contendership in early 2014. On a side note, if Carmont doesn’t work out, Philippou could also be worth considering despite his loss based on his string of successes prior to the stumble (not to mention Kennedy called him out recently on Twitter).
Tavares has quietly put together a four-fight winning streak and holds an overall mark of 6-1 inside the Octagon. He hasn’t seen action since late August, so Tavares should be healthy enough to fight and ready to rumble. Beating Kennedy would be a sizable feather in Tavares’ cap, while the reverse playing out would give Kennedy a win over an up-and-comer who has been on a tear.
Fans weren’t sure what to expect when Howard made his return to the Octagon in August where he faced Uriah Hall on short notice. The former welterweight definitely impressed in the effort, outdueling the heavily-hyped Hall en route to a decision win. He may not be a headliner on paper, but Howard’s willingness to throw bombs and background as a wrestler could make for an interesting challenge for Kennedy and entertaining effort for fans. Howard is also the kind of fighter who isn’t afraid of adversity, so taking a tilt with less than six weeks to prepare is no big deal.
For starters, Larkin is already booked for UFC Fight Night 31 and will be ready to go at full speed. While the organization would need to find a new opponent for Chris Camozzi if pulling “The Monsoon” from the match-up, doing so wouldn’t be difficult since said replacement doesn’t necessarily need to be a well-known name. Larkin is coming off a decision loss to Carmont but plenty of fans felt he’d done enough to earn to decision nod. He’s a terrific striker and has underrated wrestling, so why not put together a tilt with Kennedy since Strikeforce never had a chance to make it happen?
UFC middleweight Tim Kennedy is set to take to the Octagon again in a little over a month when he’ll serve as one half of the headlining duo at . The card is particularly important to decorated military veteran Kennedy, as the show comes with a UFC Fight Night 31 Fight for the Troops tag and is unfolding at Fort Campbell in Kentucky. Unfortunately, Kennedy’s original opponent – Lyoto Machida – was pulled out of the fight to fill a vacancy created by an injury to Michael Bisping, leaving the Army Ranger without an adversary at the event. That being said, who should the UFC consider as a replacement? (Photos by USA Today Sports Images)