#TimKennedy is hanging up his gloves for good.
After suffering a rare one-sided loss to Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 206, the former Strikeforce middleweight title challenger and five fight UFC veteran announced the surprising news of his retirement on his official Facebook page earlier today, making sure to thank his coaches at Jackson-Winkeljohn, his family, his comrades in the military, his opponents, and above all else, his wife.
"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.," wrote Kennedy.
Following a two-year absence from the sport, the 24-fight veteran was expected to return against Rashad Evans at UFC 205 back in November until "Suga" failed to pass his medical exams for the fight. The bout was then expected to take place the following month at UFC 206, until Evans once again failed to obtain a license and was replaced by TUF 17 winner Kelvin Gastelum. Despite the loss Kennedy suffered that night, he was still ranked as the #11 middleweight in the world prior to his announcement this morning.
Never one to mince words with his promotion (or with anyone, really), Kennedy emerged as the face of the MMA Athlete's Association back in November, promising to bring "a safety net that's not there" to the hundreds of his fellow UFC fighters upon doing so.
Kennedy was no less tenacious in the cage, scoring wins over Jason Miller, Melvin Manhoef, Robbie Lawler, and Michael Bisping over the course of his 16-year career. A loud and proud Army Ranger, Kennedy's greatest moment in the UFC arguably came in November of 2013. Facing off against Rafael natal in the main event of the UFC's third Fight For the Troops card, Kennedy scored the biggest knockout win of his career. Reflecting on the moment, Kennedy made sure to mention the Brazilian by name on his list of thanks.
"To Rafael Natal: It took tremendous guts to take the Fight for the Troops fight. I will always appreciate you for that and cheer for you every time you fight. To Michael Bisping: I’ve never wanted to beat anyone more than I wanted to beat you, and that motivated me to provide the best version of myself. Best of luck to you going forward, Champ."