tim-kennedy - MMAWEEKLYStrikeforce veteran Tim Kennedy has been itching to get in the Octagon for years and finally has his chance thanks to the dissolution of the organization he’d called home since 2009. The 33-year old is set to square off with Roger Gracie on July 6 at UFC 162 where he’ll look to add the respected grappler to a win column already featuring the likes of Jason Miller, Melvin Manhoef, and Robbie Lawler.

Though Kennedy isn’t looking past the 6-1 Gracie, he did recently confess he’s extremely excited about the number of options at his disposal given the UFC’s roster of middleweights (and welterweights as it turns out). Kennedy recently spoke with MixedMartialArts.com where he pointed to Demian Maia and Chris Leben as two opponents he hopes to eventually see action against.

“The floodgates are open…I’m a lion looking at a whole entire herd of gazelles,” explained the animated Kennedy. “As Maverick said to Goose (in Top Gun), ‘This is a target rich environment!’”

Whether he’s booked to battle a submission-specialist like Maia, a slugger like Leben, or someone in-between, the 15-4 Kennedy is simply happy getting his hands dirty. It’s an approach he’s taken towards all phases of his life and, in his opinion, a significant part of his overall character.

“I’m a fighter, period. Cagefighter, yeah. Combat veteran, yeah. Sniper, yeah. Ranger, yeah. Green Beret. Those are all just little portions of who I am,” explained Kennedy, offering up a glimpse into his mindset. “When I’m sitting here late at night…I’m looking at this window next to me wishing there was a zombie tapping on my door. That would be awesome! Or my front door just gets kicked in by a bunch of people doing a home invasion/robbery. I’d be like, yes, this is awesome!”

“In the military, they call it ‘sheepdogs’ – guys that are always looking for the wolves. I guess that’s what I’ve always been and that’s what I’m going to be,” concluded Kennedy.