At 9:30 on the morning at his latest Muscle and Fitness photo shoot, Tim Kennedy walked into the gym wearing a suit. There weren’t any cameras out yet, and you could count the number of people he’d see before changing into his workout gear on one hand, but Kennedy dressed for business anyway. First impressions count, you see, and the chance to inspire the handful of people he’d be working with that day had not yet presented itself. That’s what Kennedy does. He inspires. We first profiled Kennedy—a Strikeforce star and bonafide war hero—in our August 2010 issue.

A self-proclaimed “shithead” who went on to a decorated military career as a Green Beret sniper and Bronze Star recipient, Kennedy’s story is unique among pro athletes—especially since he’s still serving in the military as a combat marksmanship instructor for the Texas National Guard.

And after multiple tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, he plans on going back. “That’s where I belong,” Kennedy says. “I have a fixed period of time back here, fighting, and then I’m going back to continue doing my job.” For now, however, he’s one of the hottest properties in MMA—and the man seemingly no one wants to fight. With world-class wrestling and submission skills, power in both hands and feet, and arguably the best stamina in the sport, Kennedy presents a stiff challenge for any middleweight in the game. 

For more on Tim Kennedy be sure to check out the August issue of Muscle & Fitness magazine, on newsstands now!

In the meantime, check out these exclusive images of Tim: TIM KENNEDY GALLERY