Before his big fight on March 5th at Strikeforce I got the opportunity sit down with Strikeforce Middleweight contender Tim Kennedy as we get an in-depth look at what motivates him as a fighter and his preparation for his upcoming fight against Melvin Manhoef.
Being a former Army Ranger, How has that helped you as an MMA fighter?
Tim: It makes me more disciplined and focused. It relaxes me in the cage and keep things in perspective
Is there any prestige you feel being an MMA fighter?
Tim: I don’t care about stuff. I’m a down to earth hardworking American. I’m always shocked when people ask me for an autograph or a interview.
One of the things that standout about you is your work ethic when training for a fight, where does this motivation come from?
Tim: I don’t want to let my brothers and sisters in uniform down. Special forces is a pretty small community. I’ll hear about it for the rest of my life if I go out there unprepared.
In addition to that going into each fight you always a huge psychological edge over your opponent, how do destroy opponents with this useful trait?
Tim: I have been shot at, blown up, RPG’d, ambushed, and the lone American deployed with foreign forces… Nothing that can happen
Now you have a big fight coming up against Melvin Manhoef, How has the training been going preparing for this fight?
Tim: I spent a month at Greg Jackson’s at the beginning of my fight camp, and then imported a bunch of explosive compact partners for the last month. I feel great!
Have you done anything differently preparing for Melvin as oppose to other opponents you fought in the past?
Tim: It’s difficult hiding guys with his ability and size, but I tried to prepare for everything he can do.
What do you know about your opponent Melvin Manhoef and how do you think you match up with him?
Tim: He is a very gifted striker. I think he has great takedown defense which makes him very dangerous.
What will this win do for Tim Kennedy?
Tim: I’m going to bring the fight to Melvin. He will not be dictating the pace. I’ll be pressing forward.
Lastly do you have anything you want to tell your fans out there ?
Tim: I promise 2011 is going to be my year. I’m going out there to finish every opponent.
Any last minute shout outs ?
Tim: I want to thank the troops for fighting for our freedom, and the fans for supporting me and watching my fights.