Tim Kennedy An American Hero Josh Davis May 23, 2011 UFC Tim Kennedy is no stranger to stiff competition and adversity. As a youth growing up in San Luis Obispo, California, Kennedy participated in boxing, wrestling and Japanese Jiu Jitsu. Kennedy graduated high school in 1998 and went on to attend Columbia College of Missouri. While attending college, Kennedy began to compete in sanctioned mixed martial arts fights. After graduating college with a BA in Criminal justice in 2002, Kennedy decided to join the United States Army and in 2004 he enlisted in the elite Special Forces. Joining the military did not slow down Kennedy’s mixed martial arts career. Kennedy continued to compete as a professional mixed martial artist while serving as a Green Beret. In 2005, the Army instituted a Combatives Tournament (hand to hand fighting.) Kennedy entered this tournament and won the competition in the light heavyweight division. Kennedy won this competition three years in a row. Before turning pro in 2001, Kennedy amassed a 30-1 record as an amateur. Kennedy got his first taste of stardom when he won a one night tournament at Extreme Challenge 50. In 2007 Kennedy fought for the now defunct International Fight League and in 2008 Kennedy was forced to take the year off because he was deployed overseas. Upon his return to the United States, Kennedy got right back into competing in professional mixed martial arts. Kennedy competed in the SHOMMA Strikeforce Challengers and earned a victory over Nick Thompson. Kennedy followed up this victory at SHOMMA3 Strikeforce Challengers with a victory over Zak Cummings. These victories earned Kennedy a ticket to the big show and so far he has not disappointed. In Strikeforce’s June event Kennedy impressively defeated Trevor Prangley. Kennedy’s decisive victory over Prangley earned him a shot at the title vacated by the departure of Jake Shields. Kennedy will face Renaldo Souza at Strikeforce, Houston this weekend. Souza is a very tough opponent and will push the fight with Kennedy. Souza is a black belt in both Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and he will look to get this fight to the ground and work his submission skills. If Kennedy is going to win this fight he will have to use his aggressive attacking style to keep Souza in a defensive mode. Kennedy will also have to use his superior striking ability and take down defense to keep this fight on the feet. This fight has the potential to be the fight of the night on this card. Regardless of whether or not Kennedy wins the middleweight championship, he has already won over the hearts of many American mixed martial arts fans. Kennedy is a true American hero. He chose to enlist in the military after the September 11 terrorist attacks and fight for this country’s freedom. Win or lose, Tim Kennedy is the American hero that every patriot and mixed martial arts fan can look up to.