June 16 will be a big day for Staff Sgt. Tim Kennedy.
After months of training and anticipation, Kennedy will step into the ring for his third mixed-martial arts fight for Strikeforce. He will face Trevor Prangley, a 37-year-old middleweight fighter with a 21-5 record, in the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles.
And the fight will coincide with the release of the new EA Sports MMA video game featuring Kennedy and a slew of other MMA fighters.
Kennedy, who fights at 185 pounds and has a record of 11-2, said he is looking forward to facing Prangley.
“He’s one of those guys no one’s going to walk through, no matter who you are,” Kennedy said. “He’s always going to be a tough fight.”
Prangley is a class act, Kennedy said.
“I respect him. I’m excited to fight a good, quality opponent and I’m excited I get to fight,” he said. “It’s going to be a brawl. It’s going to be a good fight. He’s not one to quit, he’s not one to tap, he’s a hard one to knock out. I’m going to have to bring the fight to him.”
During the fight, Kennedy, a Special Forces soldier assigned to the Texas Army National Guard’s C Company, 5th Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group, will wear shorts bearing the Guard’s logo.
Until then, Kennedy is training hard — three workouts a day four times a week and two workouts a day twice a week, with Sundays off.
He averages about six hours a day in training and spends most of his time at the Competitive Training Center in Austin, Texas, where he lives. He also trains with Phil Cardella at the Relson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Austin Association.
His last Strikeforce fight was in September, when he beat the previously undefeated Zak Cummings by a second-round submission.
Kennedy, who originally signed a three-fight contract with Strikeforce, will be sticking around for awhile. He recently signed a new contract with Strikeforce, although he said he could not discuss any details.
“I will be with Strikeforce for a few fights,” was all he would say. “I want that title, so I’ll be there at least three or four fights.”
Despite his heavy training schedule, Kennedy continues to play an active role in the Guard.
“In between every one of my workouts I’m doing Army stuff, whether it’s replying to e-mails with questions from recruiters about Special Forces or guys from the company asking about different types of training stuff, or I’m at Camp Mabry [in Austin], Camp Bullis [in San Antonio]or Camp Swift [in Bastrop County east of Austin]doing stuff,” he said.