Tim Kennedy submits Trevor Prangley
Tim’s practically asleep in the locker room, only an hour before his fight – a spectacular juxtaposition to the intensity that Cyborg Santos has been maintaining for the last two hours next door. Top ranked 145 pounder Brandon Garner, striking coach Jason Webster, UFC Fighter Jared Hamman, and I are passing the time talking about new movies coming out. I honestly believe that the rest of us have more nervous energy than Tim does.
When we’re thirty minutes out, Tim starts to warm up, doing a few rounds with Brandon on the pads and then some pummeling with Jared before deciding he was warm enough. We watched on our closed circuit television as KJ Noons’s hand was raised in his decision victory over Conor Heun. The Strikeforce handler arrived at our door and we were instantly moving.
No matter how many times you walk out to the cage as a corner, it is always surreal. The air is electric, excitement and nervousness fill your stomach, and everything happens faster than it appears on television. The crowd only exacerbates those feelings.
Tim walks through the fighter port, and Brandon, Jason and I walk around through the corner entrance, meeting Tim at the cage door. He strips off his War Eagle Flag shirt and hat and I collect them as Big John McCarthy checks him off and Brandon and Jason raise his banner.
Tim Kennedy is staring across the ring at Trevor Prangley, his toughest challenge to date in an Olympic Wrestler who has never been submitted and has spent the last few months at the world-renowned American Kickboxing Academy. On Tim’s banner, right underneath the Ranger Up emblem sit two giant logos: The Green Beret Foundation and Soldiers’ Angels – two military nonprofits that Tim is proud to support.
Seconds later the fight begins as we are ushered to our corner area.
Tim pushes a frenetic pace, attacking Trevor. Both men connect and Tim has a small scratch above his eye. Brandon, a phenomenal corner, lets him know it is nothing. They lock up and Trevor nails a perfect Harai-Goshi Judo Throw, no doubt mastered under the tutelage of Dave Camarillo. It is a sight to behold. I hold my breath.
Tim is nonplussed. He rolls through, regains his balance and works back to his feet where he gains the clinch and hits Prangley with a great hook and peppers him with dirty boxing against the cage. Prangley, known for his tenacity, uses his Greco/Judo skills again and throws Tim a second time. Tim easily rolls through but this time completes a takedown and gets on top.
As anyone who has ever had the (mis)fortune to roll with Tim knows, once he gets on top, your life is a freaking nightmare. Tim rapidly works through guard to half guard and then to mount, the whole time punishing Prangley.
As expected, Prangley rolls to his stomach and stands up. Against most fighters, and in fact, all of the thirty other men that Prangley had met in the cage in his pro career, his power and wrestling would have saved the day and returned him to his feet.
Tim submitted him for the first time in his career with an incredibly technical rear naked joke from a standing position at just over three minutes of the very first round.
It happened so fast in fact, that we in the corner didn’t realize Prangley had tapped until Tim threw his hands up in joy and we saw that Trevor had slumped to the ground.
The underdog had won and in dominant fashion. Tim’s true fans cheered as he represented us well. The doubters were silenced and nodded newfound approval and respect. And the trolls that like to bash him for his military service…well…they can Derelick my balls.
After years of fighting part-time in between Special Forces training and deployments, all while amassing an 11-2 record, Tim finally had the chance to fight fulltime as a member of the Texas National Guard. In his first outing he dominated a top ranked fighter that most experts believed would destroy him.
I gotta tell you…it was kind of awesome.