All-American Badass Tim Kennedy Retires From The UFC

Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Jim Greenhill

Tim Kennedy is a man of many talents, and fighting in the octagon is one of them. Now, after nearly two decades competing professionally as a mixed martial artist, the 37-year-old middleweight is retiring from active competition.

Kennedy, a U.S. Army Special Forces soldier, announced his retirement via social media on Jan. 17. The news wasn’t totally unexpected. In December, Kennedy, who boasts an 18-6 record since 2001, lost his first fight in two years, to 25-year-old Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 206.

On Facebook, Kennedy admitted feeling like he’s aged out of the sport.

“I felt tired for the first time ever in a fight,” he wrote. “I’m the guy that once graduated Ranger School — a place that starves you and denies you sleep for over two months — and took a fight six days later in the IFL and won. I’m the guy that is always in shape. And I was for this fight. I worked harder than I ever have before for this fight. But I wasn’t me anymore.”

Kennedy joined the Army in 2004. He spent the next five years juggling his MMA career and his responsibilities as an active-duty Green Beret sniper, a demanding job that kept him on a constant rotation through Iraq and Afghanistan, and at one point earned him a Bronze Star with Valor.   

“They’d fly me and my sniper buddy in, and we’d go from firebase to firebase picking off whoever was out there to let them know they had better not be within a certain range,” Kennedy recalled of one of his deployments in an interview with Muscle & Fitness.

Related: 10 Questions Only A Veteran Would Ask UFC Fighter Tim Kennedy »

In 2009, Kennedy left active duty and transferred to the Texas Army National Guard. He rose to the top of his weight class in 2010, but then he was defeated by Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in the Strikeforce title fight. After Strikeforce shuttered in 2013, Kennedy began fighting in the UFC, where he earned two fight night bonus awards.

In his Facebook announcement, Kennedy thanked everyone who had helped him throughout his MMA career, including coaches, friends, families, opponents, and even Gastelum, whom he described as “a really respectful and hard-working young fighter who went out and did all the things I consider myself good at, but did them better.”

He also gave a heartfelt shoutout the military community, writing, “I’ll never be able to explain how much you motivated me and how much I always tried to make you proud…I will keep fighting for you all until the day I die.”

Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.

Take $75 off a Casper Mattress and $150 off a Wave Mattress with code TASKANDPURPOSE

And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.

Read More Show Less
Staff Sgt. Joshua Z. Beale (U.S. Army photo)

The Pentagon has identified a Green Beret who was killed on Tuesday by enemy small arms fire in southern Afghanistan as Staff Sgt. Joshua Z. Beale.

Beale was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, according to U.S. Army Special Operations Command. He was killed during combat operations in Tarin Kowt, Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan.

Read More Show Less
(The 621st Contingency Response Wing/Flickr)

The commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard called the ongoing partial government shutdown "unacceptable" following reports that some Coast Guardsmen are relying on donations from food pantries while their regular paychecks remain on hold.

"We're five-plus weeks into the anxiety and stress of this government lapse and your non-pay," Adm. Karl Schultz said in a video message to service members. "You, as members of the armed forces, should not be expected to shoulder this burden."

Read More Show Less
The M160 Robotic Mine Flail at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Photo: Maj. Dan Marchik/U.S. Army

The battlefield of the future could feature robot medics delivering life-saving care to casualties in the line of fire. At least, that's what the Army is aiming for — and it's willing to pay millions for help doing it.

Read More Show Less
Retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Charles Kettles was awarded the Medal of Honor July 18, 2016, for his actions while serving as a Flight Commander assigned to the 176th Aviation Company (Airmobile) (Light), 14th Combat Aviation Battalion, Americal Division. Then-Maj. Kettles distinguished himself in combat operations near Duc Pho, Republic of Vietnam, on May 15, 1967. (U.S. Army/Spc. Tammy Nooner)

YPSILANTI, MI - When a brigade of U.S. troops was ambushed by the North Vietnamese Army in the Song Tra Cau riverbed on the morning of May 15, 1967, Lt. Charles Kettles volunteered to lead the rescue, and he refused, again and again, to back down when faced with a barrage of gunfire.

His aircraft badly damaged, left spilling fuel, and his gunner was severely injured during the treacherous operation.

But he helicoptered in and out of the battlefield four times, saving the lives of 44 soldiers in a death-defying emergency operation that would become a legendary tale of bravery in the Vietnam War.

Nearly 50 years later, Kettles received the Medal of Honor on July 18, 2016.

Read More Show Less