Monday, December 5, 2022

Tim Kennedy on Retirement: ‘I Feel so Much More Free & Excited’

Earlier today, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight Tim Kennedy announced his retirement from mixed martial arts (MMA) competition. The U.S. Army Green Beret had some highlights in his career including wins over former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler and current UFC middleweight title holder Michael Bisping.

Kennedy spoke with Luke Thomas on his SiriusXM Rush show. The former Strikeforce title challenger said his decision to walk away from the sport is relieving:

“It feels energizing. I think I’m a guy that kinda understands what freedom and liberty is. It’s a weight off my shoulders. I feel so much more free and excited.”

If Kennedy’s UFC 205 bout with Rashad Evans would’ve took place as scheduled, there’s a good chance that would’ve been his last fight.

“I think about six months ago, we knew that we were gonna fight one more time against Rashad Evans at UFC 205 in New York. We wanted that to be the last fight. Fighting at Madison Square Garden, fighting a guy like Rashad and having everything go perfectly for UFC 205 and everything obviously going horrifically wrong. From that point forward, it really solidified that decision.”

Kennedy’s last fight was against Kelvin Gastelumn at UFC 206 last month. Many would argue Gastelum had the best fight of his career, earning a TKO win in the third round. Had Kennedy won the bout in dominating fashion, he still believes he would’ve retired.

“Yeah [I would’ve retired]. With my wife and my team, my coaches, they knew that was going to be my last fight. Kinda what I told them is, I’m talking a main event against Michael Bisping in London with 10 percent of pay-per-view buys type thing would’ve kept me around. Which we all know is completely impossible and unrealistic, but that would’ve been the thing that maybe would’ve made me consider it.”

“That is after a first round win, which didn’t happen.”