After suffering a devastating -- and bizarre -- knockout loss to Yoel Romero at UFC 178 last September, Tim Kennedy decided to take a break from the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA).
Though he hasn't officially retired from fighting, Tim says he is no hurry to return to the Octagon because as he revealed during a recent interview on The MMA Hour, the sport has disappointed him quite a bit lately, thanks in large part to the string of failed drug tests that seem to have no end in sight.
In fact, Kennedy believes 60-70 percent of MMA fighters are using performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). The ones who aren't, according to Tim, are the old-school fighters like himself and Lyoto Machida who still care enough about the sport not to taint it.
And the "younger athlete" who is now taking over is "one abusing dude," according to Tim's comments via MMA Fighting.
Of course, it doesn't help matters that perhaps the king of the "old school" fighters, Anderson Silva, was popped for steroids for his bout at UFC 183 against Nick Diaz, who himself was flagged for marijuana. But if you ask Tim, he wasn't surprised to hear of Silva's failed drug test.
"Indifference, no surprises whatsoever," said Kennedy. "It was almost like, meh. I've been saying it all along. Every time, I think last week we had three more main event, super fight-type guys all test positive. So, yeah, a complete lack of surprise here," he stated.
For Kennedy, the rampant drug use in MMA has him conflicted, because as much as he loves the sport, he can't see a day in the near future where he returns to action only to face a cheater.
"I have a conflict," Kennedy said. "My love for the sport isn't going away. I'm just disappointed in the sport. I don't know how to explain these mixed emotions where I'm like, 'every dude in my weight class is testing positive, everybody is cheating, judging still sucks, reffing still sucks,'" he said.
"I'm just disappointed in the sport in a lot of different ways. Not only the rampant drug use. Guys cheating. Judging. I've been a professional in the sport for 13 years. I've been a martial artist for 25, 28 years. And nothing has changed."
Speaking of bad reffing, while Kennedy owns up to his loss against Romero (video replay), he blasted "Big" John McCarthy for "fucking up" and ultimately costing him the bout after a wounded Yoel took his time to answer the bell for the third and final round.
"I thought the fight was over," said the Army Ranger. "Talk about a huge mistake. That's on me. Yes, John messed up. Yes, the corners cheated. Yes, Romero cheated. Yes, they all knew what they were doing and it was completely against the rules every which way. But first and foremost, I have to look at myself as an athlete. I messed up. I should have stayed there. I should have been cerebral enough to be cognitively aware that this fight could still be going on," he concluded.
The loss snapped his four-fight win streak and derailed his road to the 185-pound title.
As disappointed as he is in the sport -- as well as the disheartening "lip service" Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta offer up when something bad happens -- he still has passion for MMA and would return for a "special" fight that could equal a big payday.
That's because he still needs his brain and states that he doesn't get compensated enough to be damaged and not have another career for the rest of his life.