The U.S. Armed Forces produce more than just the world’s best military. It also helps churn out some of the best mixed martial artists in the world. Check out these five fighters with credentials inside and outside of the cage.
Inside: Couture (1910) is a former three time UFC Heavyweight Champion and a two time UFC Light Heavyweight Champion with wins over Vitor Belfort, Chuck Liddell, and Tito Ortiz. Recently, the 47 year old crushed the hopes (and ability to breath) of James Toney.
Outside: “The Natural” enlisted in the Army in 1982 and was stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, for six years. Afterward, he stayed in The Sooner State to attend Oklahoma State University where he wrestled and became an assistant coach. Couture still keeps ties with the men and women of the Armed Forces by making multiple appearances to military bases and donating proceeds from his fights to Wounded Warrior campaigns.
Inside: Credeur (123) has UFC wins over Cale Yarbrough, Nate Loughran, and Nick Catone. Because of a few nagging injuries, Credeur hasn’t fought since a 2009 loss to Nate Quarry that earned Fight of the Night honors. He hopes to be back in the cage soon.
Outside: “Crazy” Tim joined the Navy after high school and was assigned to the USS Miliusto be a sonar technician. However, Credeur admits to having an ulterior motive in mind when choosing his duty assignment. “I figured if I got based out of San Diego, I could learn more MMA there,” he says. Credeur’s assignment to the west coast got him the jiu jitsu he needed, and by the time he left, he had earned a purple belt in BJJ. Mission accomplished.
Inside: Rivera (187) has wins over Dennis Hallman, Kendal Grove, and Nate Quarry. The UFC middleweight will take on Alessio Sakara on Nov.13 in Germany.
Outside: Before he was “El Conquistador,” Rivera was an Armored Cavalry Scout from 1990 to 1992 in Alpha Company,1st Battalion, 70th Armor Regiment at Fort Polk, Louisiana, and Fort Hood, Texas. “I loved being a tanker,” he says. “There’s nothing like the feel of an M1 Abrams when that main gun system fires.” Rivera was once named the “Top Loader” in his Battalion, which is no easy task.
Inside: Stann (93) is the former WEC Light Heavyweight Champion and holds UFC wins over Steve Cantwell, Rodney Wallace, and most recently, Mike Massenzio, who was Stann’s first bout at middleweight.
Outside: Stann attended the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, where he played football. He was awarded a Silver Star for bravery in combat while deployed as a Marine in Iraq and also runs Hire Heroes, a small company dedicated to finding jobs for former servicemen and women.
Inside: Kennedy (123) holds notable wins over Jason Miller, Nick Thompson, and Trevor Prangley. The Strikeforce middleweight contender recently dropped a decision loss to Ronaldo Souza for the belt.
Outside: Kennedy was an active duty Green Beret at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, for six years before transitioning to the Texas National Guard so he could fight full time. Still a National Guardsman, Kennedy competes in sniper competitions and still has aspirations of being a full time soldier when his fighting career is done. He has deployed to combat several times, earning a Silver Star for bravery under fire during a mission in Afghanistan.