UFC Fight for the Troops Preview

ufc_fight_forthe_troopsThe UFC will once again return to a military base as they honour those men and women in the military with Fight for the Troops. For the UFC it is something that they have tried to be a part of the military world for years. They have tried to be a part of this world because the military world and the MMA world are natural friends which it is evident in the number of active and inactive members of the armed forces in the UFC ranks. The Army Combatives program has been the place where a number of fighters in the UFC first discovered mixed martial arts. The combatives program is a program that teaches hand to hand combat to members of the military. As the combatives program grew it began to teach a lot more than the basics of fighting hand to hand. It began to bring in new fighting styles and eventually would train the basics of mixed martial arts. This is how a number of fighters have found mixed martial arts and have found the UFC as they move from the combatives program to mixed martial arts. These fighters have provided some great moments for the fans of UFC and many of them will look to do the same thing at Fight for the Troops in front of their fellow members of the armed forces at Fort Campbell. In the Main Event the men and women at Fort Campbell will see a former Army Special Forces Sniper and rising middleweight star Tim Kennedy take on Rafael Natal. It will be an emotional night for Kennedy as he headlines a night honouring the men and women that served like him. For Kennedy it is a chance to win for the military with the armed forces on his back for the night. It is much more than that for Kennedy though as this fight will look to be a launching pad into the top 10 of the rankings for the middleweight division. After spending four years as a constant Strikeforce Middleweight contender Kennedy would make his debut in the UFC with a win over Roger Gracie. Now Kennedy looks to take another win in his second fight in the UFC to work his way towards the top 10 in the division. To do this he will need to get through Rafael Natal who is currently on a three fight win streak. Natal is looking to spoil the night for Kennedy as he hopes to pick up another win and move up in the rankings in the division. He has yet to face any major names in the division and putting Kennedy on his record could be exactly what he needs to make the top 10 of the division. The fight seems to be headed straight for the mat as both fighters prefer to fight on the ground than standing up. Kennedy is a grappler who started training Japanese Jiu Jitsu at a young age and has carried that training into amateur grappling competitions and into the UFC. With six submission wins Kennedy likes to use his strength to get opponents on the ground and bully them when they get there. Kennedy is not opposed to standing up if he has to though as his strength can translate into some power in his hands with a total of 7 KO wins. Against Natal Kennedy may want to keep the fight standing and avoid the BJJ of the promising Brazilian fighter. Natal is like many Brazilians coming in to the UFC with a BJJ blackbelt and moving his way through a number of amateur grappling competitions in Brazil. He also has a base in striking though as his MMA career began with Capoeira. Both fighters prefer the ground game to anything else but they will stand if need be. If they do end up standing this is Kennedy’s fight as he has the power to KO Natal while Natal will likely have the advantage on the ground. In the end every round begins standing and Kennedy will likely try to stay standing when he realizes he has the advantage. The fight will end the way most fans at Fort Campbell will want as Kennedy will win the fight with a third round KO to put him into the conversation for the top 10 of the division.

The military theme will be far from limited to the main event as a number of active and retired military men and women will face off at Fight for the Troops. Fighters like Army Combative champion Colton Smith and former #1 contender Liz Carmouche will represent the armed forces in the rest of the card. For Colton smith a fight against fellow Ultimate Fighter winner Michael Chiesa is a chance to prove that he deserves his spot in the UFC. After winning The Ultimate Fighter the active member of the US Army, Colton Smith, would lose his first fight as a member of the UFC. A third round TKO was not the best way to start his career as a UFC fighter and he will look to build his career back up against Michael Chiesa. The fellow Ultimate Fighter champion has not had the most success either since winner his season of TUF. Standing at 1-1 since winning the reality show Chiesa is looking to try to build a winning streak starting with Smith. For Liz Carmouche it will be a chance to move back up in the rankings and reclaim the top contender spot. After entering the UFC history books as one half of the first women’s fight in UFC history Carmouche would take a win against the very promising Jessica Andrade. Now Carmouche will take on a true contender in Alexis Davis who will be trying to use Carmouche to make her way up the rankings. With Carmouche considered one of the best fighters in the women’s division a win against her would speak volumes to how ready Davis is for a title shot. For Smith and Carmouche the fights take on another meaning altogether as they are not only fighting for their careers but they are fighting for the men and the women of the armed forces. Along with Tim Kennedy these two fighters are hoping that they can give the fans at Fort Campbell a little extra to cheer about as they represent themselves and the military when they enter the octagon at UFC Fight for the Troops.


Fight Card

Main Event:
Tim Kennedy vs. Rafael “Sapo” Natal (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Main Card:
Liz “Girlrilla” Carmouche vs. Alexis Davis (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Ronny Markes vs. Yoel “Soldier of God” Romero (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal vs. Rustam “Tiger” Khabilov (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Colton Smith vs. Michael “Maverick” Chiesa (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Bobby “King” Green vs. James “The James Krause” Krause (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

George Roop vs. Francisco “Cisco” Rivera (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Dennis “The Menace” Bermudez vs. “Super” Steven Siler (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Amanda “The Lioness” Nunes vs. Germaine “The Iron Lady” de Randamie (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Chris Camozzi vs. Lorenz “The Monsoon” Larkin (Facebook)

Yves Edwards vs. Yancy Medeiros (Facebook)

Neil Magny vs. Seth “Polish Pistola” Baczynski (Facebook)

Derek Brunson vs. Brian “BHue” Houston (Facebook)

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