Casey Kenney: A Process of Establishment

Feb 12, 2020

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In just two fights, Ultimate Fighting Championship bantamweight Casey Kenney has earned a spot in the division’s Top 15 rankings. With his career on a strong upward swing, it would make sense if Kenney expected a fellow ranked opponent for his latest outing in the Octagon at UFC Fight Night 167. Yet he won’t meet that expectation inside the Santa Ana Star Center, and he is fine with it. That’s because of the respect he has for his opponent Merab Dvalishvili, and the UFC booking history for competitors at the bottom of the rankings.

“At first, I was maybe a little disappointed,” Kenney told Sherdog. “But not really. I took a step back and looked at everything. Started checking out Merab a little bit more and noticed that the guy could easily be 4-0 in the UFC. [If] he’s 4-0 in the UFC he’s definitely up there ranked. On top of that, he’s won his last two. Also, you really don’t see Top 15 guys fight [other] Top 15 guys. A lot of times you see the guys [ranked at] 10 and under fight these up and comers trying to take their spot. Even though I just got there; this will be my first fight with that ranking. I feel like this is a really good fight to solidify my spot in the Top 15.”

Along with discussing his upcoming bout, the 28-year-old looked back at his August win over Manny Bermudez, and the added confidence boost from it. He gave his thoughts on getting ranked, and how much it matters to him, as well as his opinion on the title situation at the top of the division. Plus, the Indiana native was asked if his interest in politics have changed with a fellow Indiana product Pete Buttigieg running for the democratic nomination for president.

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