In this exclusive interview ith Fightful's James Lynch, Jeremy Kennedy (11-0) discusses his upcoming fight against Alexander Volkanovski (16-1) at UFC 221 on Feb. 10. Jeremy also talks about the injury which forced him off UFC Fight Night 121, his training camp for this fight and what he's watching on Netflix.
While many reports had said different things about the injury that caused the fight cancellation, a now fully healed Kennedy thought he should clear everything up about the whole situation.
“As for the injury, it was actually a bulged disc in my neck and I sprained some facet joints, so it was like some nerve damage that shoots down my arms, so I couldn’t grapple for close to two months. We (his team) knew about the Alex (Volkanovski) fight for about fourteen weeks, so it was like a really long time out (until fight day), so that’s why I was like OK I’m injured, but its (the fight) a really longtime out. I was training around it and doing conditioning and hitting pads a little bit. I was doing that the whole time hoping everything to get better and around the seven or eight week mark, I was like it (the injuries) wasn’t getting better at all, my doctors and everybody was thinking like it should be OK by then, but it was six weeks in and I hadn’t grappled in like six weeks.
I hadn’t like touched the (grappling) mats. I was like maybe if (the injuries) last one more week, I’ll still have six weeks to train, but it was getting like to much of a gambling thing. I was doing my camp in Las Vegas and I was going to have to bring everybody out there, a nerve pain is not something you can train through. I tried but it feels like electrocution and a shock down my arm, like I shot my whole arm off. It was a pretty serious thing dealing with the neck itself and I was like I didn’t want to make it worse and have a long term problem. I mean we had to make the choice to pull out of the fight, which was brutal because it was such a long time out, but that’s the name of the game,” says Kennedy.
Volkanovski went onto fight Shane Young at UFC Fight Night 121, earning a unanimous decision win.
Kennedy is still able look to at the bright side of things and that’s exactly what he is doing in regards to UFC 221.
“Its pretty cool that its the exact same fight (against Volkanovski at UFC 221), now instead of a “Fight Night,” its a pay-per-view card. Hopefully its still a main card (fight) and he’s (Volkanovski) now 3-0 in the UFC, I’m 3-0 in the UFC. So pretty much the stock went up a little bit, so its probably a blessing in disguise,” says Kennedy.
UFC 221 takes place on Saturday, February 10 from the Perth Arena in Perth, Australia with Robert Whittaker and Luke Rockhold headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.