Photo by Esther Lin for Showtime Sports.
Whether he's taking on the role of The Black Swan, or body doubling for Katy Perry, Tim Kennedy knows how to lighten the atmosphere of playing the hurry up and wait game by reaching out to his fans through video. His much rumored, but not formally announced fight with Strikeforce middleweight champion, Luke Rockhold, looks like it will finally come to pass in July, but a bout agreement has yet to materialize. In a recent interview with TapouT Radio, Kennedy discussed his desire to fight more frequently, and now hopes to see the Strikeforce fighter ranks beefed up with more talent, and possible crossover fights with the UFC.
*Note: Interviewer is either my co-host, Evan Shoman of TapouT Radio, or myself. When I don't conduct these interviews by myself, I just put "Interviewer" to eliminate having to bounce back and forth between three different names.
Interviewer: You recently put out some parody videos. What's the response been like to your them?
Tim Kennedy: Some Katy Perry fans lashed out at me, not even getting that it's a funny video. They just think I hate Katy Perry. She has some pretty passionate fans. I thought MMA fans were passionate, but Katy Perry is on a whole new level.
Life's too short to be a tough guy all the time. When I'm in the cage, I'm tough, but when I'm not in the cage, I just want to laugh. You know, my life has been a little too serious between jumping out of airplanes and getting shot at in Iraq and Afghanistan, and cagefighting, so here's a chance for us to have a little bit of fun.
Interviewer: Your fight schedule has been wide open, with no activity since last July. Is that a problem, and would you like to be fighting more frequently?
Tim Kennedy: I wish I was fighting more, without a doubt. I kind of put my military career on pause so I could fight, and since I've done that, I've only fought three times in two years. That's not ideal. I would like to be in there three or four times a year. I don't get paid to not fight. I get paid to fight.
Every day that I'm not getting ready to get in the cage, I feel guilty, because I'm not with my brothers and sisters in uniform, doing a pretty important job. I would like to get back to either getting in a cage, or get back to fighting.
Interviewer: Which of your two careers takes precedence in your life currently, MMA or your military assignment?
Tim Kennedy: I love fighting. I've always loved fighting. I always wish that I was overseas when I'm here, and when I'm overseas, I always wish that I'm in a cage. My mindset is that I have some very clear things that I want to achieve in fighting, and as soon as I get those done, then I'm done fighting.
I'm getting very close to that. If I get this title, and then maybe a couple more fights later, I'll have the opportunity to fight for another title. That pretty much wraps up what I wanted to do, which is be the best fighter in my weight class in the world, so they just need to give me the opportunity to show that.
Interviewer: When, exactly, is the Rockhold fight going to happen?
Tim Kennedy: I can't say. I know that it's going to be mid summer.
Interviewer: Strikeforce is putting on fewer and fewer shows. Is the sense of urgency there or do you feel like they need to step it up?
Tim Kennedy: Absolutely. They're only going to have like three more shows this year, and that's not much opportunity for me to get out there. You know the UFC is having a show every couple of weeks.
Luke broke his hand in his last fight against Keith Jardine. They won't let me fight anybody else. I said I'd fight anybody, but they're like, 'No, you're going to fight Luke', which is awesome, and now, I'm just waiting. I've been waiting for a while and I'm just going to keep waiting and keep training, as if I have a fight in two months. When they finally say, 'Here it is', I'll be ready to go.
Interviewer: Many fans would like to see some crossover fights, or just have new talent added to the roster. Have they said anything to you to the effect that one of these two things might come to fruition?
Tim Kennedy: They have definitely not said that. When you see guys that are vacating other organizations like Hector Lombard, you know, is there an opportunity for him to be brought over to us? Absolutely not. Nobody has even considered it. Of course he's going to go straight to the UFC, and that leaves us with Jacare, Luke, and myself.
The three of us, I'm pretty sure, we could fight, on any given night, with any of the top 10 UFC guys, and it would be a very, very competitive fight. As it stands, it's the three of us. If I beat Luke, in the summer, and I have the title, what's left for me? I guess I'll fight Jacare again. Whether I beat Jacare, or he beats me, then what? They'll have me fight Luke again?
It's just this painful cycle, and I want fresh blood. I want to fight. I don't even think they're better fighters. I just think they're more well known because they fight for a promotion that wants to push their athletes. Again, I have to wait. I want that title. I'm whatever, 5-1 or 6-1 in Strikeforce, with a close loss for my last title fight. I think I deserve that title, and once I have that title, I really want to push to bring in some fresh fighters for all of us, not just for me.
Interviewer: Have you ever had the opportunity to let Dana White know directly that you would like to come over to the UFC or that you would like more fights in Strikeforce?
Tim Kennedy: I view myself as an employee. It's the matchmaker's job to tell me when I fight, and it's my job as an athlete to be ready to fight, whenever they say that is, so I'm ready. I will always fight whoever, whenever, and I just have to wait for that call. The sooner the better.
Interviewer: Just as an extra for your fans, with one of your favorite shows, The Walking Dead, on seasonal hiatus, what are you currently watching to fulfill your TV entertainment needs?
Tim Kennedy: Game of Thrones. The six days in between Sundays are painful for me.
I had read the first few graphic novels of The Walking Dead series, so I went ahead and read all 17 graphic novels to catch me up, so now Nate Quarry has nothing on me in a zombie or Walking Dead argument [laughs]. Mark my words Nate, I can now go toe to toe with you in zombie talk.
Interviewer: Have you read the Game of Thrones books, and are you happy with the way they've adapted the series for television?
Tim Kennedy: Oh yeah. I've read them all and loved them all. Film adaptation of books is always hard, and I have been really happy with the way they've done the show. The intent behind everything and why they've done some things has always, through the course of the show, proved to be a good purpose.
The books have so much time to elaborate on every character and explain the development and how the stories are connected, but the show only has an hour, once a week, to try to get everything together. They really have to adapt the books to a very short, seamless plotline that will make sense at the end of the season.
Interviewer: Who are your favorite characters?
Tim Kennedy: Arya, Tyrion and Jon Snow have always been my favorite characters, and I'm just loving how they're showing them, as the books progress through the show. There's things in the show that make me mad. When King Lannister right now is executing all the little kids, and they're going out of their way to really show how evil he is. I get why they're doing it in the show, but that's never a question in the books. You just know you hate him. In the show, they have to remind you in every episode just why you hate that little brat.
Follow Tim via his Twitter, @TimKennedyMMA