Michael Bisping has been cleared to return to the Octagon. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Michael Bisping and Tim Kennedy will square off in a middleweight duel at "The Ultimate Fighter Nations" finale.
UFC officials Thursday announced the booking, which takes place at the Pepsi Coliseum in Quebec City. The April 16 show will also see Patrick Cote and Kyle Noke lock horns in a welterweight battle of “TUF Nations” coaches.
Bisping suffered a detached retina last year, and it was recently reported by “UFC Tonight” that the middleweight’s recent eye exam yielded inconclusive results. Nevertheless, the Brit has now been cleared, according to the UFC, and he will return to action in a pairing that both he and Kennedy have called for publicly.
A 29-fight pro, Bisping last competed in April 2013, when he earned a clear-cut technical decision over Alan Belcher, though the contest ended prematurely after the American caught a finger in his eye. Prior to that victory, “The Count” was knocked out by Vitor Belfort, as “The Phenom” felled the Brit with a high kick one year ago at UFC on FX 7.
Kennedy, meanwhile, rides a three-fight winning streak into his clash with Bisping. The former soldier made a successful UFC debut this past July against fellow Strikeforce import Roger Gracie, controlling the jiu-jitsu ace for 15 minutes en route to a unanimous decision win at UFC 162. Kennedy then followed that performance with a much shorter outing this past November at UFC Fight Night 31, knocking out Rafael Natal in the first round of their middleweight headliner.