UFC Fight for the Troops 3: Tim Kennedy vs. Rafael Natal (Nov 4, 2013)
Staff writer: Suzie Tankleford
UFC Fight Night 31 (aka Fight For The Troops 3) will take place November 6th at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
The main event may have lost some luster among some fight fans since Lyoto Machida dropped out to fight in Fight Night 30, replacing an injured Michael Bisping.
However, the new main event pitting former Army Ranger Tim Kennedy against Rafael Natal should provide enough excitement to make this a memorable card.
The co-main event, Liz Carmouche against Alexis Davis should be a great fight as well.
Here are the three fights that should make Fight Night 31 a truly special event.
Tim Kennedy (16-4) vs. Rafael Natal (17-4-1)
Rafael Natal has not had much attention as a quality fighter since he came to the UFC. Headlining this card could be his ticket to bigger and better things in the organization. Currently he is on a three fight winning streak. But keeping that streak going could be difficult against Kennedy.
Natal has some potent submission skills but Kennedy has proven he can handle submission fighters with his victory over Roger Gracie back in July.
Tim Kennedy will set a pretty fast pace for this fight. He has some of the best cardio in the UFC. He continually wears down his opponents as the fight goes on. Since this is going to be a 5-round fight Kennedy should be able to wear down Natal and get the victory by stoppage in the fourth or fifth round.
Liz Carmouche (8-3) vs. Alexis Davis (14-5)
The women’s division of the UFC has been getting a lot of attention lately because Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate were selected as coaches for this season’s The Ultimate Fighter. While Rousey and Tate are involved in reality television drama Liz Carmouche and Alexis Davis will be mixing it up inside the octagon.
Carmouche’s last fight was a loss to current champ Rousey and if she gets an impressive victory over Davis she could get another title shot.
Davis has the advantage in striking and will want to keep the fight off the ground. Davis only has two knockout victories in her career so it is doubtful that she can stop Carmouche with strikes. But she can certainly control the fight and out-point Carmouche and get the win.
Carmouche has a distinct advantage on the ground with her superior ground and pound game. Davis does have a better takedown defense than most of Carmouche’s past opponents. However, Carmouche should be able to takedown Davis and control the fight.
This should be a close, exciting fight with Carmouche eking out the victory.
Jorge Masvidal (25-7) vs. Rustam Khabilov (16-1)
This could very easily be Fight of the Night. Khabilov has a five fight winning streak and is 2-0 in the UFC while Masvidal has won his last three fights by submission.
Masvidal has an excellent grappling and submission game but Khabilov has some solid Sambo experience and should be able to hold his own. Khabilov will want to keep the fight standing up and that could provide some real fireworks.
Masvidal has 10 KO’s in his MMA career and should be more than happy to trade with Khabilov.
Both fighters are looking to break into the Top 10 of lightweight fighters and a victory at Fight Night 31 could do just that. Masvidal should be able to dominate Khabilov through three rounds and get the decision victory.
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