This week, MMA veteran Tim Kennedy announced his retirement from MMA several weeks after dropping a 3rd round TKO to Kelvin Gastelum on the main card of UFC 206. The loss marked Kennedy’s second in a row, and his first fight in over two years.
At UFC 178 in 2014, Kennedy and streaking middleweight Yoel Romero stepped into the Octagon for what remains to this day, one of the most controversial fights in MMA history. At the end of the second round, Kennedy had Romero rocked and nearly finished. ‘Soldier of God’ survived the end of the round, and was in the process of recovering between rounds. When the horn sounded to signal the start of the third round, Romero remained on his stool while referee Big John McCarthy called for Romero’s corner to wipe excess vaseline from him, and retrieve the stool from the cage. Kennedy complained as Romero continued to sit on the stool, ultimately buying himself nearly an extra minute between rounds to recover. When the third round started, Romero went out and TKOd Kennedy. Of course this caused quite a bit of controversy as many criticized Romero for stalling between rounds. Despite that, Romero explained the reason he was rocked at the end of the second was because Kennedy had allegedly stuck his fingers in Romero’s gloves in order to land the shots.
While a rematch was discussed given the controversy surrounding the fight, one never materialized, and Kennedy took two years away from the Octagon.
To kick off 2017, Kennedy released a lengthy statement revealing that he was retiring from MMA. Surprisingly, Romero has since sent him a retirement message via social media:
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/18/2017.