UFC middleweight Tim Kennedy had one of the most successful nights of his professional mixed martial arts career, but it didn't come without a measure of adversity prior to even entering the cage.
As he admitted in the post-fight press conference for UFC Fight for the Troops (UFC Fight Night 31), Kennedy suffered an injury to his quadriceps muscle just a week prior to Wednesday evening.
"I tore my quad coming into this camp," Kennedy told the media at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. "The very last week of fight camp, just a stupid thing happened. A lady walked over the track and it was either run over a 65 year-old lady - probably kill her - or try to decelerate in about two meters. I chose to decelerate and just fell to the ground, grabbing my leg screaming not great words."
Kennedy, however, remained undeterred. The former special forces operator said, come hell or high water, there was nothing that was going to keep him from competing on Wednesday evening. It didn't matter what condition was ultimately in by fight time.
"If they had to roll me into the cage to fight Natal, I would've fought him," Kennedy continued. "In the cage, once they hoisted me up and lifted me into the cage, Natal would've had to shoot me and bludgeon me to death until I quit.
"I'm too dumb to care."
That doesn't mean, however, the injury wasn't on his mind. Kennedy told the attending press he and his team did everything they could to mitigate the pain, from deep tissue massages to suction cups to ointments and more.
No matter what, though, Kennedy insisted he was fighting. There was no way as a veteran of combat and the armed services, he wasn't going to compete on a card like this.
"We did everything that we could, like crazy, wacko stuff," Kennedy explained. "You would've had to kill me to prevent me from getting in that cage tonight. I swear to god.
"I'd be dead or I'd be in that cage fighting."