Tim Kennedy shocked the MMA world on January 17 when he announced his retirement as a professional MMA fighter. Kennedy, who last fought at UFC 206 against Kelvin Gastelum, knew he was retiring after that fight, win or lose.
“I knew that the outcome of the fight regardless of a win or a loss was going to be me being retired,” he told MMA Fighting. “There was one or two scenarios that could have maybe kept me around, and that was me fighting Michael Bisping in like, London, for 10 percent of the entire pay-per-view, which is obviously an impossibility. So, I was done. I knew I was done. I wanted a Cinderella story. I wanted to go out fighting Rashad at Madison Square Garden, but that’s not how life is. So I knew I was going to be done regardless.”
Now that Kennedy is done being an active fighter, many wonder what kind of legacy he will leave behind.
“I don’t care about a legacy,” he said. “If someone ever mentions my name again, regarding what I did in the sport as a competitor or now I think as somebody that’s going to reshape how it is now and how it affects athletes, I’m okay with that. Because I’m still going to make change. I am guy that fought for the biggest promotions in the world, in the darkest and dirtiest eras of the sport, against the most roided-out dudes we’ll ever see compete in the sport, and I was one of the best. I never ended up being the best, and that’s what I wanted. So, now it’s about the more important things.”
Kennedy did challenge twice for the Strikeforce Middleweight Title, losing to both Ronaldo Souza and Luke Rockhold in those bids to become champion.