Tim Kennedy fighting his way up

Pro MMA athlete Tim Kennedy has gone from the battlefield of Iraq to the spotlight of the UFC ring.

Tyler Stewart, Writer

The rising popularity of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and the declining audience for boxing have sparked a nationwide interest in the world of mixed martial arts (MMA). One of the many up-and-coming stars in MMA is also a proud soldier in the United States Army.

Tim Kennedy grew up in San Luis Obispo, Calif. From a young age, his mother tried to steer his interests away from fighting, enrolling him in cooking and music lessons. However, his fate soon changed after seeing a Chuck Norris film, which greatly inspired his interest in combat. His classes then shifted from home economics to self-defense, as he went on to practice, boxing, wrestling, and jiu-jitsu throughout his high school years.

In 1998, Kennedy attended Columbia College in Missouri, where he continued practicing MMA and competed in many sanctioned events, with a record of 30-1 during his amateur fighting years before going pro in 2001. After his graduation in 2002, he enlisted in the Army, and earned the coveted Green Beret worn by Army Special Force. Kennedy spent time in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom, where he earned several awards, including the Army’s Bronze Star. He also took first place in the Army-instituted Combative Tournament in 2005.

In 2007, Kennedy joined the International Fighting League, but only spent one year with them due to his deployment overseas in 2008. In 2009, he signed with Strikeforce and made his return to MMA, defeating Nick Thompson in his first match during the Strikeforce Challenge. Kennedy has also become a promoter for Ranger Up, a website selling both military and MMA related clothing and merchandise.

Kennedy’s most recent victory came against Trevor Prangley (22-6-1 record) in June of 2010, forcing him to tap out with a rear-naked chokehold. Kennedy now resides in Austin, Texas, where he continues his training with MMA veteran Phil Cardella. Kennedy continues to develop his fighting skills, serve his country, and take care of his family. Expect to see Kennedy making his way up the MMA ladder and fighting on the grand stage of UFC soon.

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