HDNet Fights announced that International Fight League veteran Tim Kennedy will step in to face Jason “Mayhem” Miller at the promotion’s Dec. 15 event at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.
Miller was slated to battle Sean Salmon, but Jorge Santiago knocked him out at the Nov. 16 Strikeforce event, making him ineligible to fight on the December card.
The opponent change actually sets up a rematch between Miller and Kennedy. The two fought as part of an Extreme Challenge eight-man middleweight tournament in February of 2003. Kennedy won a unanimous decision en route to winning the tournament.
“Couldn’t have worked out better for me,” said Miller. “Sean would have been a good fight for me, but the rematch with Tim (Kennedy) is something I’ve wanted for a long time. As motivated as I was before, I’m jacked even more, now.”
Kennedy won both his IFL fights in 2007, winning in both the 205- and 185-pound weight classes, and is slated to be a key IFL member for 2008.
For HDNet Fights matchmaker Guy Mezger stumbling into a heated rematch between two MMA stars like Miller and Kennedy was a stroke of good fortune.
“We really did get lucky on this one,” said Mezger, an Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran who heads up fight operations for Mark Cuban’s HDNet Fights. “Fortunately, the IFL was a great help in making this happen.
“I can’t tell you how happy we are to have gotten a quality fighter like Tim Kennedy to fight Jason. As good a fight as we had before, the rematch will be better.”
According to Andrew Simon, CEO for HDNet Fights, putting together the Miller versus Kennedy fight was a cooperative effort with the IFL.
“This fight marks the beginning of many alliances between HDNet Fights and other MMA organizations,” said Simon. “We are excited that the IFL is bringing top middleweight Tim Kennedy, trained by Chuck Liddell, to the table to fight Jason Miller.”
IFL commissioner Kurt Otto seconded the cooperative efforts between the two organizations.
“We are elated to work with HDNet fights to put this matchup together for the fans,” said Otto. “This shows that a level of cooperation between organizations willing to work together can produce great results for the sport, and we are looking forward to continue working together in the future.”
As part of the relationship between the IFL and HDNet, Mezger reportedly confirmed to JerryPark.com that the Mark Cuban-owned HDNet television network would air the IFL’s World Grand Prix event finals live on Dec. 29.