Tim Kennedy is the latest accomplished vet who has announced he’s retiring. The perennial, middleweight contender, who is coming off a stoppage loss to Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 206 last month, made the announcement recently on Facebook.
Here is some of what the 37 year-old had to say:
…We had talked about it a lot over the past few years. I’d spoken to Nick, to my wife Ginger, and to Greg Jackson and Brandon Gibson ad nauseam about the coming end. No matter how hard I trained, I knew this ride wouldn’t last forever. But saying it out loud definitely brought me both sadness that this chapter was complete and overwhelming relief that it’s a decision I could make without worrying about taking care of my family.
I had just lost to Kelvin Gastelum, 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 actually reminded me of me when I was younger, except I was kind of a jerk back then. As losses go, I was kind of happy I lost to a guy like him.
A lot of my coaches, friends and fans immediately tried to build me up again. “Kelvin has the right skillset to beat you and it was your first fight back.” “You had ring rust.” “You’re still a top 10 middleweight.” I appreciated their comments and I don’t think they are wrong. I know I am still a good fighter. I know I was away a while. But they didn’t feel what I felt, and that’s being 37. I felt like I was in slow motion the entire match. I felt tired for the first time ever in a fight. 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. My brain knew what to do but my body did not respond. I’ve watched other fighters arrive here. I’ve watched other fighters pretend they weren’t here. I will not be one of them.
I want to thank the military community for their support. I’ll never be able to explain how much you motivated me and how much I always tried to make you proud. I’ve been a professional fighter for two decades, but there was no greater moment for me than winning the main event of Fight for the Troops 3. You made me invincible that night. I will keep fighting for you all until the day I die.
I want to thank all of my coaches, from the old days working with John Hackleman and Chuck Liddell, to all my military buddies who trained with me while I was on active duty, to Greg Jackson, Mike Winkeljohn, and Brandon Gibson now. That you all thought me worthy of the investment of your time means more than you will ever know…
Leading up to UFC 206, Kennedy said that the bout may be his last, so this announcement shouldn’t come as a big surprise. It’s not surprising to hear that some of his camp were encouraging him to keep fighting, as UFC 206 did mark the first time Kennedy had fought since 2014, when he was stopped by Yoel Romero. That loss, as you may recall, was an extremely controversial one, as a stunned Romero was given too much time between rounds two and three, and proceeded to score a comeback win.
All that aside, if Kennedy feels his physical peak has come and gone, then this decision is likely the right one to make. Especially in the middleweight division, which has plenty of dangerous dudes Kennedy would have to go through to get back to the top. Currently the Ranger is ranked #11.
In addition to his military career, Kennedy has opportunities outside of MMA. Recently he’s been part of the History Channel’s “Hunting for Hitler” show, which has run for two seasons now.
Kennedy finishes up his fighting career with an 18-6 record. His last win was back in 2014, when he earned a UD win over reigning champ, Michael Bisping.