The UFC All-Strength Team
MuscleMag selects the top 10 strongest pound-for-pound fighters in the UFC.
MMA record: 17-4
Best Known for: Hyper-conditioning; fearlessness
Kennedy could be the poster boy for, “Don’t mistake kindness for weakness.” The quick-to-smile middleweight is a special ops sniper, Green Beret, seasoned UFC fighter, and is probably in the top .01 percent of the world in deadly skills. After the zombie apocalypse, Kennedy will most likely be our new leader.
The 34-year-old fights at 185 pounds, but has been known to walk around in the neighborhood of 225 pounds early in his training camps. In person, the 5’11” Kennedy is a massive block of muscle. “My entire life,” he says, “has been about functional fitness. Whether I was an MMA fighter or a sniper, Airborne or a badass Ranger or Green Beret — it’s always been about functional power, strength, explosiveness to kill you with my hands.”
In the gym, Kennedy stays in the three-to-five-rep range but rarely performs one-rep maximums in order to reduce the risk of injury. Even his “safe” training loads are impressive. He squats in the mid-400s for three to five reps, has bench-pressed in the high 300s for three to five reps and deadlifts 400 for five reps. His PB is close to 500 pounds.
“I do a lot more narrow-grip bench pressing, which would simulate, functionally, a move like shrimping [escaping from the bottom] during a fight,” Kennedy says, noting he seldom incorporates conventional bench pressing into his sessions. “I like to keep my elbows tight, and it’s a lot better on my shoulders and elbows.”