Jeremy Kennedy and Emmanuel Sanchez test skills on December 3rd in a battle of ranked featherweights. Bellator 272 broadcasts on Showtime and transpires at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
I spoke with Kennedy ahead of this prizefight and excerpts from our chat are below.
Getting in that great Las Vegas work at Xtreme Couture
“Lots of good training partners. Everyone’s in the gym getting ready for fights. And I’m just glad to be on the same schedule with a lot of my other ’45 training partners. No complaints.”
Jeremy Kennedy continued, “Dan (Ige), me and him have been training. He got his fight shortly after I did, the week after. Kai Kamaka who’s on the same card as me. So we were training a lot together. Julian Erosa got his fight. It’s a little farther away, but he’s still a great look for me and a good body. Boston Salmon is fighting in a few weeks and at ’45. So we’ve had a good, solid core group of ’45-ers.”
Being in attendance at Bellator 263 and difficulties compartmentalizing things to solely be a fan
“Yeah, it was tough. Especially because I was itching to fight around that time. You know, I’ve been out here training in Vegas for a while now. And when that card came to LA, it’s not far away. So I was wanting to go out there and take a look. I wanted to be a fan but you know, the headliner being the Featherweight title fight and the co-main event being another training partner Mads (Burnell) against my future opponent, (Emmanuel) Sanchez. It’s really hard not to be out there scouting and have the fights on my mind.”
“Again, my last two fights for Bellator have been no crowds. And this one was right back into the swing of things with a nice big crowd. Yeah, it definitely gave me the itch and I just couldn’t wait to get on a card myself.”
Work with Islam Makhachev out in Las Vegas
“He’s a monster, man. I’ve trained with those guys a lot as well, the whole Dagestani group. My manager Ali Abdelaziz, he is very close with them and connected with them. I have a very good relationship with Ali. So whenever they’re in town, they all like me. I get along great with them and it’s just a whole nother group of bodies to work with. Push myself and they have a very similar style as me. I love working with those guys as well. They’ve got a lot of good guys my size. And every time they’re in town. I’m always training with them too.”
Thoughts on the main stylistic proclivities of Emmanuel Sanchez
“This fight really excites me. As soon as I signed with Bellator. If his name’s not on the top of your list of guys that are on your radar, I don’t know what you’re doing. Him, Daniel Weichel, Pitbull, all those guys. A lot of them are leaving now too, Pat Curran and stuff. So those guys are longtime Bellator staples and he’s one of them. And as soon as I signed I was like, I know I’m gonna end up pairing up with him eventually. And here it is. On top of the card, co-main event. His style, it just brings it out of everybody. His biggest attributes, I think are his pace, his relentlessness.”
Jeremy Kennedy continued, “And he’s well rounded, good feet to the floor. He’s good at jiu-jitsu, good striking, good at mixing it up. And he can go all day. So I think no matter where your strengths are when you fight him, it’s going to bring it all out.”
“It just kind of shows what Bellator thinks of me. My last two fights, I think (Adam) Borics was ranked third. Now here, Sanchez is fourth. So back to back, I’m right at the top of the division. Fighting these guys and on a good stage. Both main card, this one co-main event. I’m just ready to capitalize and seize this opportunity.”
If Kennedy has been able to curate his sparring partner dynamic to mirror Emmanuel Sanchez’s skillset
“So for the first few weeks, it was just more getting hard good work in with other ’45ers. Like I mentioned, Kai Kamaka, Dan Ige, and guys like that. And then once they started gearing you know, Kai got the fight with (John) De Jesus. So he needed a Southpaw. Dan’s got a fight with (Josh) Emmett and he needed a shorter guy. We all kind of just geared off and found our own specific training partners. A guy who really helped me out this last month is Julian Erosa.”
“He’s a little bit taller, but a very similar style. A little awkward but high volume and all-around good kickboxer. Not the biggest wrestling threat, but he’s game on submissions. He attacks from the bottom and he’s hard to hold down. Just a very good look for me. I’m grateful to have him helping me out and he’s not in camp. He’s got his fight with (Steven) Peterson but that’s out in February. So he’s just looking to get good work in right now. And it was kind of geared towards me, what my needs are. I got nothing but good things to say about him. I’m really happy to have him helping me out.”
Parting thoughts for Jeremy Kennedy
“No, man. It’s been awesome talking to you. Just tune in Friday. We’re gonna get this W.”
I’ve been enamored with combat sports for as long as I can remember. I’ve hosted MMA talk shows Lights Out and Pure Fight Radio with featured guests like Jens Pulver, Roy Nelson, Miesha Tate, Mark Coleman, and more. I’ve been an MMA broadcaster for XFFC as well as BTC and have done play by play commentary on live pay per view on GFL as well as FITE TV. I’ve provided written, audio, and video content covering some of the biggest MMA promotions like Rumble in the Cage, Unified MMA, and King of the Cage. I’ve worked as a sports entertainment personality for over five years and given play-by-play or featured promotions of KSW, ONE Championship, TKO, and Invicta FC. My work can be found in the USA Today Sports affiliate MMA Torch, Cageside Press, MMA Sucka, and Liberty Multimedia.