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Tim Kennedy to return to the UFC, vows to 'smash' performance-enhancing drug users

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Over the last year, Tim Kennedy has said that he wasn't interested in returning to the UFC unless there was a compelling matchup for him, someone he really wanted to get his hands on.

That has changed. There isn't any one particular person Kennedy wants to fight. There's a whole bunch of them.

The popular UFC middleweight and Army Special Forces veteran told Ariel Helwani on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour that he will indeed return to the Octagon. And he's targeting matchups with past performance-enhancing drug and testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) users. Kennedy named the likes of Vitor Belfort, Dan Henderson and Anderson Silva on his wishlist.

"I want to go fight every single one of them and beat the brakes off of them and kind of put a big exclamation mark that this is a new era of the sport, that the clean athletes, we're going to smash every single one of you cheaters that have historically been making all the big money and cheating your way through it," Kennedy said.

There is no specific timetable for his return. But Kennedy (18-5) said that the UFC has been open to him facing the winner of the trilogy fight between Belfort and Henderson. Those two MMA legends -- and former TRT users -- meet in the main event of UFC Fight Night 77 on Saturday in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

In the meantime, though, Kennedy is promoting his new show, "Hunting Hitler," which will air beginning Nov. 10 on History Channel. In the eight-episode series, Kennedy, who still works as an Army operative, and a team of experts will investigate whether Adolf Hitler really did commit suicide in 1945 or somehow managed to escape to South America. Kennedy traveled all over the world, from Germany to Argentina and beyond, during the taping.

"Yes, I think the end result is to maybe rewrite history," Kennedy said. "But if you're gonna try to find the mother ant that rules the colony, you have to follow the other ants. We went to the Nazis. We went to the places we knew Nazis existed."

Kennedy, 36, said he always believed that Hitler committed suicide in a bunker, like has been written in every history textbook in the United States. Now, he is not so certain. But you'll have to watch the show to find out what Kennedy and his crew unearthed.

"We can't absolutely say that," Kennedy said of the suicide story. "They can just add one word -- 'if,' or 'it's possible.' But we know there's no way to prove that."

Part of what Kennedy did was visit mixed martial arts gyms throughout South America hoping to find someone with Nazi roots. He succeeded, attempted to develop a relationship with them and then sought answers about their grandfathers.

"Nazis have a huge obsession with fighting," Kennedy said. "It goes back to their origin."

The last time Kennedy fought was UFC 178 in September 2014. He lost that night by third-round TKO to Yoel Romero. Kennedy was frustrated when Romero came out late for the third round after nearly being finished in the second. Kennedy thought Romero was cheating and the fallout from that fight as well as the apparent PED problem in MMA made him disenfranchised with the sport.

Not so much anymore. In true military fashion, he has a mission now. And he believes it starts with the winner of Belfort-Henderson and continues with anyone else who has been tied to banned subtances.

"I want you guys," Kennedy said.

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