Tim Kennedy (fighter)

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Tim Kennedy
Tim Kennedy blood donor.jpg
Born (1979-09-01) September 1, 1979 (age 37)
San Luis Obispo, California, United States
Nationality American
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight 185 lb (84 kg; 13.2 st)
Reach 74.0 in (188 cm)[1]
Style Wrestling, Kickboxing, Jujitsu
Fighting out of Austin, Texas, U.S.
Team Jackson's Submission Fighting
Rank black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Royler Gracie[2]black belt in Ju-Jitsu
black belt in Matt Larsen's Modern Army Combative Program
Mixed martial arts record
Total 23
Wins 18
By knockout 6
By submission 8
By decision 4
Losses 5
By knockout 2
By decision 3
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
Military career
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 2004 – Present
Rank Army-USA-OR-07.svg Sergeant First Class[4]
Unit 7th Special Forces Group
Texas Army National Guard
Battles/wars War in Afghanistan
Iraq War

Timothy Fred "Tim" Kennedy (born September 1, 1979) is an American professional mixed martial artist who currently competes in the UFC's Middleweight division. He has also formerly competed for Strikeforce, the WEC, ShoMMA, HDNet Fights, and represented the Chicago Red Bears in the IFL. Kennedy is one of the few fighters to simultaneously serve in the United States Army National Guard while also fighting professionally. As of July 9, 2016, he is #11 in official UFC middleweight rankings.[5]


Kennedy grew up the second son of three children in a Christian family in Atascadero, California. He is of Irish descent.[6] As a youth, Kennedy's mother placed him in cooking and piano lessons. To offset her influence on him, Kennedy's father enrolled Tim and his brother in shooting schools, boxing lessons, wrestling teams, and Japanese ju-jitsu classes.[7] Kennedy attended Eagle Academy private high school, graduating in 1998. He then attended Columbia College of Missouri, earning a B.A. in criminal justice in 2002. Kennedy began competing in sanctioned mixed martial arts fights while still in college, but after graduation he enlisted in the United States Army, joining the elite Special Forces in 2004. However, he continued to compete in MMA while serving as a Green Beret. When the Army instituted a service-wide Combatives (hand-to-hand fighting) tournament in 2005, Kennedy entered and won the tournament in the Light Heavyweight division. He achieved this goal three years in a row.

Military career[edit]

Tim Kennedy joined the Army on January 4, 2004 and completed Basic Combat Training, Advanced Individual Training, Airborne School and the Special Forces Qualification Course. Tim was featured in Dick Couch's book about Green Beret selection called "Chosen Soldier" under the moniker "Tom Kendall". In 2007, he completed Ranger School[8] and was assigned to the 7th Special Forces Group,[9] where he served on Operational Detachments Alpha. During this time he was also a sniper, sniper instructor, and the principal combatives instructor for C Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group. Kennedy deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom multiple times.[10]

In August 2009, Kennedy transitioned from active duty to the Texas Army National Guard and served in the position of Special Forces Weapons Sergeant. After stepping away from MMA citing issues he has with the way the sport is run, Kennedy alluded on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast that he is taking private security work around the world.

Among Kennedy's multiple awards are the Army's Bronze Star Medal with V device, which was awarded for valor under fire.[11]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Kennedy began training at Dokan School of Martial Arts in Atascadero, California under Terry Kelly and Barry Smith. He began his MMA training in 1999, training with Chuck Liddell, Jake Shields, Gan McGee, and John Hackleman at The Pit in San Luis Obispo.[12]

Kennedy first started fighting in 1996 and had 31 amateur fights, amassing a record of 30-1[citation needed] before his first professional fight in 2001. In 2003 he entered and won a one-night tournament at Extreme Challenge 50, winning all three of his fights. In 2004 he joined the Army. Kennedy only fought once in 2006. He then fought for the now defunct International Fight League in 2007, and did not fight in 2008 due to Army deployments overseas. During this time he wrote a three part series of "Letters from a Foreign Land" that chronicled his time in combat.[13][14][15]


Kennedy returned to mixed martial arts in 2009 with a win over Nick Thompson at Strikeforce Challengers: Villasenor vs. Cyborg in Kent, Washington. He followed this up with an impressive win over Zak Cummings in the main event of ShoMMA 3.

Kennedy fought Trevor Prangley on June 16, 2010 at Strikeforce: Los Angeles.[16] Kennedy won the fight via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) in the first round.

Since his move to Austin, Texas, Tim has been training at Competitive Training Center and with BJJ black belt Phil Cardella at the Relson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Austin Association.[17]

Kennedy lost a 5-round decision to Ronaldo Souza for the vacant Strikeforce Middleweight Championship at Strikeforce: Houston on August 21, 2010. He was expected to face Jason Miller again on March 5, 2011 at Strikeforce 32.[citation needed] However, Miller was forced out of the bout with an injury and replaced by Melvin Manhoef. He won via submission in the first round. He returned in July 2011 to face Robbie Lawler at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson. He won the bout via unanimous decision. He faced Luke Rockhold on July 14, 2012 for the Strikeforce Middleweight championship at Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy. He lost the fight via unanimous decision.[citation needed]

Kennedy was expected to face Trevor Smith on November 3, 2012 at Strikeforce: Cormier vs. Mir.[18] However, the event was cancelled due to injuries to headliner Frank Mir, as well to co-headliner and middleweight champion Luke Rockhold.[19] This bout eventually took place on January 12, 2013 at Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine.[20] Kennedy won via submission in the third round.

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

In January 2013, the Strikeforce organization was closed by its parent company Zuffa. A list of fighters scheduled to be brought over to the Ultimate Fighting Championship was released in mid-January and Kennedy was one of the fighters listed.[21]

Kennedy faced Roger Gracie on July 6, 2013 at UFC 162, he defeated Gracie via unanimous decision after defending Gracie's submission attempts and standing up with Gracie, out striking him.[22]

Kennedy was expected to face Lyoto Machida on November 6, 2013 at UFC Fight For The Troops 3.[23] However, Machida was pulled from the bout in favor of a matchup with Mark Muñoz on October 26, 2013 at UFC Fight Night 30, after Muñoz's original opponent, Michael Bisping was forced out of their bout with an injury.[24] Kennedy instead faced Rafael Natal in the event headliner.[25] He won the fight via knockout in the first round. The win also earned him his first Knockout of the Night bonus award.[26]

For his third fight with the promotion, Kennedy faced Michael Bisping on April 16, 2014 at The Ultimate Fighter Nations Finale.[27] He won the fight via unanimous decision.[28]

Kennedy faced Yoel Romero on September 27, 2014 at UFC 178.[29] He lost the fight via TKO in the third round. Kennedy nearly finished Romero in the final seconds of the second round but Romero was saved by the bell. Yoel Romero, his cornermen, the referee and the UFC cutman have all been criticized for their actions resulting in a 28-second delay after the scheduled start for the third round.[30] Romero later responded to the controversy, stating that Tim Kennedy illegally held his glove during the attack which prevented Romero from being able to block the punches that rocked him.[31] Despite the loss, Kennedy earned a Fight of the Night bonus award.[32]

Kennedy has been linked to a bout with Rashad Evans on November 12, 2016 at UFC 205.[33]

Personal life[edit]

Kennedy has two daughters. Kennedy will be playing himself in the upcoming Indie film, Range 15.[34] He is a co-owner of Ranger Up, a military-based clothing company.[35][36]

Championships and awards[edit]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 18–5 Yoel Romero TKO (punches) UFC 178 September 27, 2014 3 0:58 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Fight of the Night.
Win 18–4 Michael Bisping Decision (unanimous) The Ultimate Fighter Nations Finale: Bisping vs. Kennedy April 16, 2014 5 5:00 Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
Win 17–4 Rafael Natal KO (punch) UFC: Fight for the Troops 3 November 6, 2013 1 4:40 Fort Campbell, Kentucky, United States Knockout of the Night.
Win 16–4 Roger Gracie Decision (unanimous) UFC 162 July 6, 2013 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 15–4 Trevor Smith Submission (guillotine choke) Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine January 12, 2013 3 1:36 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States
Loss 14–4 Luke Rockhold Decision (unanimous) Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy July 14, 2012 5 5:00 Portland, Oregon, United States For the Strikeforce Middleweight Championship.
Win 14–3 Robbie Lawler Decision (unanimous) Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson July 30, 2011 3 5:00 Hoffman Estates, Illinois, United States
Win 13–3 Melvin Manhoef Submission (rear-naked choke) Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson March 5, 2011 1 3:41 Columbus, Ohio, United States
Loss 12–3 Ronaldo Souza Decision (unanimous) Strikeforce: Houston August 21, 2010 5 5:00 Houston, Texas, United States For the vacant Strikeforce Middleweight Championship.
Win 12–2 Trevor Prangley Submission (rear-naked choke) Strikeforce: Los Angeles June 16, 2010 1 3:35 Los Angeles, California, United States
Win 11–2 Zak Cummings Submission (north-south choke) Strikeforce Challengers: Kennedy vs. Cummings September 25, 2009 2 2:43 Bixby, Oklahoma, United States
Win 10–2 Nick Thompson Submission (punches) Strikeforce Challengers: Villasenor vs. Cyborg June 19, 2009 2 2:37 Kent, Washington, United States
Win 9–2 Elias Rivera KO (punches) IFL: World Grand Prix Finals December 29, 2007 1 2:00 Uncasville, Connecticut, United States
Loss 8–2 Jason Miller Decision (unanimous) HDNetFIGHTS: Reckless Abandon December 15, 2007 3 5:00 Dallas, Texas, United States
Win 8–1 Ryan McGivern Submission (guillotine choke) IFL: Chicago June 19, 2007 2 1:25 Chicago, Illinois, United States
Win 7–1 Dante Rivera Submission (punches) IFL: Atlanta February 23, 2007 2 2:29 Atlanta, Georgia, United States Light Heavyweight bout.
Win 6–1 Héctor Urbina KO (punches) Fight Fest 7 September 23, 2006 1 1:28 Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Win 5–1 Cruz Chacon TKO (punches) Extreme Challenge 50 February 23, 2003 2 1:21 Salt Lake City, Utah, United States Won Extreme Challenge Middleweight Tournament.
Win 4–1 Jason Miller Decision (unanimous) Extreme Challenge 50 February 23, 2003 3 5:00 Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Win 3–1 Ryan Narte TKO (punches) Extreme Challenge 50 February 23, 2003 1 1:22 Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Win 2–1 Mack Brewer TKO (punches) WEC 5: Halloween Havoc October 18, 2002 1 1:03 Lemoore, California, United States Light Heavyweight bout.
Win 1–1 Jody Burke Submission (forearm choke) IFC: Warriors Challenge 16 November 9, 2001 1 0:44 Oroville, California, United States
Loss 0–1 Scott Smith TKO (doctor stoppage) IFC: Warriors Challenge 15 August 31, 2001 1 2:53 Oroville, California, United States

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Fight Card - TUF Nations Finale Bisping vs. Kennedy". UFC.com. Retrieved April 17, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Tim Kennedy's official twitter account". Retrieved 2016-06-30. 
  3. ^ "Tim Kennedy profile". Ufc.com. Retrieved 2013-06-24. 
  4. ^ "The Push for Pullups: Why Soldiers Want it Added to the PT Test". Army Times. June 11, 2014. 
  5. ^ UFC Fighter Rankings, ufc.ca; accessed October 27, 2015.
  6. ^ "I'm Irish by decent" - https://twitter.com/TimKennedyMMA/status/675914982073044992
  7. ^ Morgan, Adam. "Tim Kennedy: Full Time Soldier, Full Time Fighter". Five Ounces of Pain. Retrieved 2009-09-24. 
  8. ^ "Annual Ranger Muster 2010" (PDF) (Press release). US Army Ranger Association. 2010. Retrieved 2013-06-24. 
  9. ^ "TIM KENNEDY - SOMEONE YOU SHOULD KNOW". Blackfive.net. Retrieved 2009-09-24. 
  10. ^ Malone, Kieran. "After returning from Afghanistan, Strikeforce's Tim Kennedy returns to MMA action Friday". Retrieved 2009-09-26. 
  11. ^ Snowden, Jonathan. "Tim Kennedy: Army Strong". Total-MMA.com. Retrieved 2009-09-26. 
  12. ^ Chiappetta, Mike. "Army Green Beret Tim Kennedy Restarts MMA Career With Strikeforce". MMAFanhouse.com. Retrieved 2009-09-26. 
  13. ^ Kennedy, Tim. "I am Deployed Again, Part I". RangerUp.com. Retrieved 2009-09-26. 
  14. ^ Kennedy, Tim. "I Am Deployed Again, Part II". RangerUp.com. Retrieved 2009-09-26. 
  15. ^ Kennedy, Tim. "Tim Kennedy Deployed, Part 3". RangerUp.com. Retrieved 2009-09-26. 
  16. ^ "Kennedy vs. Prangley at "Strikeforce: Los Angeles" on June 16". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2010-05-26. 
  17. ^ Michelle Tan (May 27, 2010). "Details of Tim Kennedy's next fight announced". blogs.militarytimes.com. Retrieved 2013-06-24. 
  18. ^ Strikeforce adds Tim Kennedy vs. Trevor Smith to Nov. 3 Oklahoma Fight Card MMAWeekly.com (September 20, 2012)
  19. ^ Strikeforce cancels Nov. 3 event in Oklahoma City, plans January return MMAJunkie.com (October 12, 2012)
  20. ^ Larkin-Souza, Kennedy-Smith added to January Strikeforce card by Matt Erickson (MMAJunkie.com) on November 29, 2012
  21. ^ "UFC Reveals List of Strikeforce Fighters Making Jump to Octagon". sherdog.com. January 16, 2013. 
  22. ^ Staff (2013-03-04). "Roger Gracie To Fight Tim Kennedy At UFC 162". fightofthenight.com. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  23. ^ Staff (2013-08-21). "Lyoto Machida drops to 185, meets Tim Kennedy at UFC Fight for the Troops 3". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2013-08-21. 
  24. ^ Staff (2013-09-27). "Michael Bisping out at UFC Fight Night 30, Lyoto Machida now faces Mark Munoz". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2013-09-27. 
  25. ^ staff (2013-10-01). "Tim Kennedy gets Rafael Natal at UFC's 'Fight for the Troops 3'". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2013-10-01. 
  26. ^ Staff. "UFC Fight Night 31 bonuses: Kennedy, Chiesa, Khabilov, Masvidal win $50,000". MMAjunkie.com. Retrieved 2014-11-06. 
  27. ^ Staff (2014-01-30). "Michael Bisping cleared for TUF Nations Finale headliner with Tim Kennedy". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2014-01-30. 
  28. ^ Cole, Ross (17 April 2014). "Tim Kennedy Earns Decision Victory Over Michael Bisping At TUF Nations Finale". Fight of the Night. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  29. ^ Zane Simon (2014-07-08). "Tim Kennedy vs. Yoel Romero slated for UFC 178 in Las Vegas". bloodyelbow.com. Retrieved 2014-07-08. 
  30. ^ Marc Raimondi and Damon Martin (2014-09-28). "Stoolgate: Tim Kennedy irate about controversial loss to Yoel Romero". foxsports.com. Retrieved 2014-09-28. 
  31. ^ "Romero: Tim Kennedy Cheated". bjpenn.com. 2014-12-21. Retrieved 2015-05-07. 
  32. ^ Matt Erickson (2014-09-28). "UFC 178 bonuses: McGregor, Cruz, Romero, Kennedy earn $50,000". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2014-09-28. 
  33. ^ Nick Baldwin (2016-08-15). "Tim Kennedy vs. Rashad Evans in the works for NYC's UFC 205". bloodyelbow.com. Retrieved 2016-08-15. 
  34. ^ "Noland to fight in front of home crowd at Cal Poly". Sanluisobispo.com. 2010-05-18. Retrieved 2010-12-13. 
  35. ^ "K2 Sponsors UFC fighter, Tim Kennedy". k2si.com. 
  36. ^ Range 15 movie adds William Shatner -- nears 900K funding mark, outsidethewire.armytimes.com, August 11, 2015; accessed October 27, 2015.

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