Kennedy Awaits Title Shot, Return to Service After Lawler Win

By Mike Whitman Jul 30, 2011
Tim Kennedy took one step closer to another shot at the Strikeforce middleweight title Saturday night, as the former U.S. Army ranger defeated Robbie Lawler by unanimous decision at Strikeforce and M-1 Global’s “Fedor vs. Henderson.”

Though Kennedy (Pictured; file photo) walked away from the Sears Centre in suburban Chicago with perhaps the most important victory of his career, the 31-year-old will not rest on his laurels. Instead, Kennedy claims he will return to work on Monday, preparing for his next challenge.

“Maybe I’m not going to be doing anything with my face, but I’ll be in the gym getting ready to fight,” Kennedy said in a post-fight interview with Showtime Sports. “I’ll be very interested in the Sept. 10 fight between Luke Rockhold and [Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo Souza]. I’ve just got to get ready to fight.”

Kennedy has faced “Jacare” Souza once before, suffering a hard-fought but unanimous defeat to the Brazilian alligator in August 2010. After an earning easy victory over Dutch striker Melvin Manhoef in March, Kennedy found himself in a tougher fight against Lawler on Saturday night in Hoffman Estates, Ill.

Lawler used slick takedown defense in the first round to stifle Kennedy’s relentless shots, occasionally making the Californian pay for initiating his wrestling attack with sharp counter punching. In the second frame, “Ruthless” landed the best punch of the fight, cracking Kennedy with a hard uppercut that bloodied the U.S. veteran’s nose.

“Robbie Lawler is a tough dude. Every time I tried to do something, he would either damage me or get away. So, I just really had to pressure [him] the whole time,” said Kennedy. “The nose is fine. I don't know what it is, but every time I get in that cage, I get bloody. Sometimes the judges [freak out], but it’s just blood. It happens. We’ve got little gloves, and I’ve got little skin. I get cut. Get over it.”

Despite the threat of Lawler’s powerful punches, Kennedy generally controlled the action in the cage, while Lawler seemed hesitant to overextend by throwing combinations, especially in the third frame.

“I knew I was two rounds up, but he just seemed really tentative the whole fight, just waiting for me to shoot. People, I think, were frustrated with the pace of the fight, but I can only move forward so fast, and he was just waiting for me. I’d [shoot] and get him down sometimes, and sometimes he'd hit me on the way in,” Kennedy explained.

Up next for Kennedy is likely a title shot against the winner of Rockhold-Souza. However, that isn’t the only battle on Kennedy’s mind. According to the middleweight, he’s itching to return to a different kind of fight.

“I don’t do this for the money, [because] we don’t make enough. I love the fans and everything, but I do it for the guys who are overseas,” said Kennedy. “I love those guys. I wish I was there right now. Every time I’m in that cage, I wish I was with them. But I’m here right now, so I’m just going to keep fighting until I get back overseas.”
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