After a lengthy layoff and a brief return, Tim Kennedy is calling it quits.
In a post to his Facebook page, the UFC and Strikeforce veteran shared that he has chosen retirement after a disappointing outing against Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 206 in Toronto back in December.
“I felt like I was in slow motion the entire match,” Kennedy said. “I felt tired for the first time ever in a fight.”
The Gastelum fight was Kennedy’s first in over two years. He took time away from the sport after a controversial TKO loss to Yoel Romero back in Sept. 2014.
Kennedy gained prominence in the Strikeforce organization, fighting on the “Challengers” circuit and working his way up to two Middleweight Championship opportunities against Jacare Souza and Luke Rockhold, losing both by decision.
Following the dissolution of Strikeforce, Kennedy rattled off three consecutive wins in the UFC over Roger Gracie, Rafael Natal, and Michael Bisping. The Natal fight was a highlight, Kennedy said, as it was the main event of Fight for the Troops 3. Kennedy, a Sergeant First Class in the United States Army, was thankful to the military community for their support of his fighting career. “I want to thank the military community for their support,” he said. “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.”
Kennedy concluded his statement by saying that he wanted to make sure the future is secure for the younger generation of fighters, naming Gastelum, Paige VanZant, and Yair Rodriguez specifically.
Kennedy’s career record is 18-6 spanning 15 years.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: I wasn’t expecting Kennedy to retire, but I think he saw the writing on the wall after the Gastelum fight. Middleweight is a very tough division and, even though he has a win over the current champion, he may not have seen a viable path to a title fight at 37 years old and some very tough competition ahead of him who have been more active over the past couple of years. Kennedy had a good career and is a popular fighter. It sounds like he will continue his involvement in the MMA Athletes Association and can focus on that without any conflict of being active in UFC. It’s always refreshing to see an MMA athlete go out on his own terms, seemingly with his health intact.
TUESDAY NOTEBOOK ITEMS…
-During an appearance on “The MMA Hour” on Monday, UFC Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic expressed some displeasure over being paid less than opponent Alistair Overeem at UFC 203 last year. “I just felt like I was kinda crapped on a little bit,” Miocic said. “I try to do things right and work with them, and they just didn’t give me a great deal. That’s my own fault, but also they knew what they were doing. They took my kindness for weakness. They told me it was the best deal they could do, and I said, ‘Oh okay, great.’ And then come to find out, it wasn’t.” Miocic earned a disclosed $600,000 for the fight while Overeem’s pay was $800,000.
-Also appearing on “The MMA Hour,” Rashad Evans shared that the Blackzilians fighting team is no more. Evans cited fragmentation within the team and the sale of the physical space as reasons why many of the Blackzilian fighters have gone their separate ways.
-Jessica Andrade vs. Angela Hill has been booked for the Feb. 4 UFC show in Houston, Texas. Hill, the current Invicta FC Strawweight Champion, had originally been booked to return at UFC 207, but had to be pulled due to the rule stipulating returning fighters must be in the testing pool for four months prior to fighting.
-Alex Nicholson vs. Paulo Henrique Costa has been booked for the March 11 UFC show from Fortaleza, Brazil.
NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S REPORT: MONDAY NEWS DIGEST 1/16: Was B.J. Penn vs. Yair Rodriguez perfectly executed or a miserable failure?
(MMATorch’s Daily News Digest features the top story of the day with added analysis, plus smaller tidbits in the News Notes section. Mike Hiscoe, who writes the News Digest Sundays through Thursdays, has a background in film criticism and previously wrote for the DVD Town and Movie Metropolis websites. His passion for Mixed Martial Arts goes back to 2005, but it was in the promotion for UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie that he really got hooked.”This is my house, I build it,” is still among the all-time great UFC promos. You can follow Mike on social media under the tag @mikehiscoe. He now provides his experienced writing and perspective on live MMA events for MMATorch.)