Tim Kennedy has opted out of the military to pursue fighting full time.
Kennedy, now 10-2 for his MMA career, recently debuted and signed a multi-fight deal with Strikeforce.
A former Green Beret, Kennedy’s six-year military enlistment ends on August 4.
Kennedy tried unsuccessfully to lobby the National Guard for assignment to the Elite Athlete Program so he could continue both his MMA and military careers, by that appeal was denied.
Kennedy had hoped to maintain both careers.
“My dream is to be able to continue to represent my brothers and sisters in uniform while fighting,” Kennedy said. “I know that I can have a huge impact of bringing the right people for the right job in the military. I’m confident that we will be able to work something out. If we can’t then, I will separate my service, but I will continue to represent the uniform that I had the honor of wearing.”
Kennedy, who was assigned to the 7th Special Forces Group, took break from MMA for a year and a half to serve in Afghanistan.
Kennedy turned pro in 2001 and went 3-0 in the IFL in 2007. His main-event brawl with Jason “Mayhem” Miller became a classic of the sport. Miller, who lost to Kennedy at a 2003 Extreme Challenge event, survived a deep guillotine choke and went on to take a close unanimous-decision win in the rematch.
Aside from a loss where he suffered a cut that left him unable to continue to Scott Smith in his pro debut, the loss to Miller marked Kennedy’s only other loss in MMA.
Kennedy expects to be on the card for an as yet unannounced September Strikeforce event. It would be his second fight for Strikeforce, the first coming on a second-round submission victory over Nick Thompson in June.
The win over Thompson was his sixth straight victory and ninth win in his last ten fights.