View Full Version : S.F. soldier makes MMA T.V. debut tonight

09-25-2009, 11:30 AM
When Staff Sgt. Tim Kennedy steps into the cage Friday night for his Strikeforce Challengers mixed-martial arts fight, his brothers in arms will be able to watch him from around the world on American Forces Network.

Kennedy, 30, a Special Forces soldier, will face Zak Cummings at the SpiritBank Event Center in Tulsa, Okla., for Friday’s headlining fight.

The event will air on Showtime, and a new deal between Strikeforce, Showtime and AFN will deliver live MMA events to service members around the world. Kennedy’s fight will be the first such event to be broadcast live, according to information from Strikeforce.

After Friday’s event, all Strikeforce events for the rest of the year will be broadcast on AFN.

“We are proud to be able to bring live Strikeforce events to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces,” Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said in a statement. “These are people who have dedicated their lives to protecting our country, so it’s great to be able to give something back to them. And the timing couldn’t be better. Having [Kennedy] headline a terrific Challengers event is the perfect start.”

AFN, operated by the Defense Department, is available on bases in 175 countries and aboard 140 Navy ships at sea around the world. Its broadcasts reach nearly 1 million service members.

Kennedy, a combat veteran who most recently served with 7th Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg, N.C., recently transitioned into full-time professional MMA fighting.

He had worked for years for permission to stay in the active Army and fight professionally at the same time, but each time the answer was no, until he received a call from the Texas Army National Guard.

On Aug. 4, the same day his active Army enlistment was to end, Kennedy signed papers to become a member of the Texas Guard and 19th Special Forces Group, which has a company in Texas. In his new capacity, Kennedy will be a spokesman for the Texas Guard and his new unit, help with recruiting and work with units to develop combat marksmanship and combatives courses. He gets to stay in Special Forces and pursue a professional MMA career.

At the time, Kennedy said, “I’m just so excited that this is going to work out and I get to stay in Special Forces, which is a dream come true.”

Friday’s fight is the second of Kennedy’s three contracted fights with Strikeforce. His first was June 19, when he beat Nick “The Goat” Thompson. It was Kennedy’s first professional MMA fight in 18 months.

Kennedy told Strikeforce he is excited that his fight will be broadcast on AFN.

“Right now, the Special Forces group that I recently left is deployed,” he said in a statement. “Every single friend of mine is over there and I was planning on e-mailing every one of them the results of my fight right after it finished on Friday, but instead, they get to watch it.”

09-25-2009, 12:33 PM
Awesome. Tim Kennedy is kicks ass.