For Tim Kennedy, fighting is a lot easier than being out in the battlefield. By the Army Special Forces member's own words, there's no referee or judges to protect you in conflict. When it comes to that, Kennedy says "fighting is easy".
But there are irritations that come along with competing at a high-level in MMA, one being constant questions about fighting Brian Stann, he of the fast rise in the UFC's middleweight division and similar military background.
"That's the dumbest thing ever. We're so similar in where we came from, why we're fighting, who we fight for, who our fans are, who are our sponsors are...,they're all the same people," Kennedy said recently on Figure Four Daily. "Everyone that wants us to fight, forget about it.
"The only way we'd fight is if there's a title on the line and both of us know that would be a great problem to have. Until we get there, we're going to keep training. He's a great guy to train with and we're going to have a lot of success together."
Kennedy has seen a metamorphosis with Stann since both men starting training at Greg Jackson's Albuquerque, NM-based gym years ago, especially with his wrestling.
"He's so talented. I used to be like, "An easy round. I get to work with Brian.' Now it's 'I have to work with Brian? Someone help me!' He's such a humble guy, a natural leader, great friend and one of the greatest sparring/training partners you would ever wish for."
Kennedy talked to Figure Four Daily for 30 minutes (subscription needed) on a variety of subjects, including his upcoming fight against Robbie Lawler on the Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson card, a bout he took on short notice but one he wasn't going to turn down.
"I had the July 30th date in my head for a while even though I didn't have an opponent, so I've been training for that date for three months," Kennedy said. "Regardless of the short notice, I got to take that fight and would never walk away from a fight.
"Robbie's Top 10 in the world and super tough. He's more than a knockout artist. He's an amazing wrestler and has been in the game for a long time. He's very dangerous."
Kennedy (13-3) went into detail about his frustrations following his Strikeforce Middleweight title defeat to Jacare Souza last August, saying that he wishes he was more aggressive when it went to the ground.
"I was tentative when I took him down a few times and thought 'Oh my God. I'm rolling with Jacare'. I should have been more aggressive once I scored those takedowns and did damage when I got there," he said. "I was landing more shots, but the problem was I was getting into a rhythm where he could counter and explode."
While the 31-year-old is still planning to return to duty in the Special Forces at some point, there are still goals that he wants to achieve. One would think fighting Michael Bisping would be high on that list, someone that Kennedy isn't a fan of based on his antics with fellow Ranger Up sponsoree and friend Jorge Rivera.
"I think he's way overrated. His mouth gets him more fans than his abilities do. He cheats his way to a decision or cheats his way to a win by poking a guy. There's a lot of guys I have respect for and very few I don't...he's one of them.
"Not only do I not like how you fight, but then you fought and cheated against one of my friends, so now you're just blacklisted for the rest of your life."
Kennedy also discussed working with a Gracie, the UFC Summit and some of the sponsorship adjustments that he's had to make post-Zuffa purchase and more detail on fighting Lawler, Souza and why he wants to return to the Special Forces, available now for WrestlingObserver.com subscribers.