By TXMMA Staff | Photo by Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
UFC brings Fight for the Troops 3 event to Fort Campbell, KY; Several Texans featured on the card
FT. CAMPBELL, KY, November 6, 2013 – The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to free TV this evening with UFC Fight for the Troops 3 happening at Fort Campbell in Kentucky LIVE in front of our nation’s servicemen and women.
The UFC FN3 card is headlined by US Army Special Forces vet (and Austin, TX resident) Tim Kennedy taking on Brazilian Rafael “Sapo” Natal in a pivotal middleweight matchup that should move the winner that much closer to an eventual title shot down the line. For Kennedy this also marks his second UFC fight following his convincing win over Roger Gracie a few months ago while Natal will be looking for his fourth in a row after opponents that include another Texan in DFW’s Sean Spencer.
The rest of the card includes several other US Army vets as well, including Liz Carmouche, Neil Magny, and another Texas resident in Ft. Hood’s Colton Smith who takes on fellow TUF winner Michael Chiesa in an effort to rebound from his last loss versus Robert Whittaker.
Here’s the entire card below followed by our fight-by-fight preview and predictions.
UFC Fight for the Troops 3 – Quick Card
Main Card (FOX Sports 1)
- Tim Kennedy (16-4) vs. Rafael Natal (17-4-1)
- Liz Carmouche (9-3) vs. Alexis Davis (14-5)
- Yoel Romero (5-1) vs. Ronny Markes (14-1)
- Jorge Masvidal (25-7) vs. Rustam Khabilov (16-1)
- Colton Smith (3-2) vs. Michael Chiesa (9-1)
Prelims (FOX Sports 1)
- James Krause (20-4) vs. Bobby Green (20-5)
- George Roop (14-9-1) vs. Francisco Rivera (9-2)
- Steven Siler (23-10) vs. Dennis Bermudez (11-3)
- Germaine de Randamie (4-2) vs. Amanda Nunes (8-3)
- Lorenz Larkin (13-1) vs. Chris Camozzi (19-6)
- Yves Edwards (42-20-1) vs. Yancy Medeiros (9-1)
UFC Fight for the Troops 3 – Preview and Predictions
185 lbs.: Tim Kennedy (16-4) vs. Rafael Natal (17-4-1)
Both of these guys have faced a tough climb up the ladder having to prove themselves against some very tough opponents and are on the cusp of contention in the middleweight division. Tim Kennedy in particular has been earning his respect for some time and looked solid as ever versus Roger Gracie in his last fight, with the only thing missing in that one being a finish. Overall Kennedy has been underrated b most but he’s got an exceptional ground game and a striking acumen that’s been fine tuned over the years to go along with his innate mental toughness. He is a US Army Ranger after all.
Taking on Kennedy will be Draculinho Magalhaes pupil Rafael “Sapo” Natal. He too has looked good in his recent past, minus a bad misstep versus Texan Andrew Craig. Like Kennedy, Sapo has a decent ground game and solid striking as well. Unfortunately for him, Tim might be slightly better in every area.
Prediction: Tim Kennedy over Rafael Natal by Unanimous Decision
135 lbs.: Liz Carmouche (9-3) vs. Alexis Davis (14-5)
With the lack of depth in the UFC women’s bantamweight ranks, this fight between Liz Carmouche and Alexis Davis could catapult the winner back up towards challenging for the title currently held by Ronda Rousey.
Carmouche looked good against Jessica Andrade in her last fight after debuting with Rousey as the first two women to grace the UFC octagon. As for Davis, she had some trouble with Rosi Sexton in her first UFC fight but survived to make it to this fight.
Comparing the two, Liz Carmouche is definitely the stronger of the two and should be able to take control of Davis on the feet and take her down for the finish at some point.
Prediction: Liz Carmouche over Alex Davis by TKO, RD3
185 lbs.: Yoel Romero (5-1) vs. Ronny Markes (14-1)
A 2008 Olympic silver medalist in freestyle wrestling, Yoel Romero debuted impressively with a flying knee KO over Clifford Starks in his UFC debut, showing he has more than the ability to take fighters to the mat. Meanwhile, Brazilian Ronny Markes has grinded out three wins in a row in the UFC and 7 in a row overall.
While Markes’ win streak is impressive, he’s at a disadvantage here considering the way he’s gotten those wins by being the more physical fighter, wrestling his opponents to the ground and grinding them out. He won’t be able to do that to the 36 year old Cuban. The fight will take place where Romero wants it ton and he’s far and away the more explosive of the two.
Prediction: Yoel Romero over Ronny Markes by TKO, RD1
155 lbs.: Jorge Masvidal (25-7) vs. Rustam Khabilov (16-1)
This bout between Jorge Masvial and Rustam Khabilov definitely has fight of the night type potential considering the stylistic matchup between the two with Jorge being a solid striker with decent takedown defense and Rustam possessing exceptional grappling but also the power punches to go along with his throws and slams.
While Masvidal will no doubt head into this fight as the established veteran, Khabilov will be looking to make good on his own reputation as an up-and-coming lightweight contender. If he can maintain his ferocious tempo against his hard-to-finish opponent Khabilov should come out of this one as a legit lightweight title contender.
Prediction: Rustam Khabilov over Jorge Masvidal Unanimous Decision
170 lbs.: Colton Smith (3-2) vs. Michael Chiesa (9-1)
This battle between Colton Smith and Michael Chiesa marks a pivotal fight for both men considering the losses they’ve suffered to Robert Whittaker and Jorge Masvidal respectively.
Looking at the two, Chiesa will definitely come in as the more experienced and well-rounded fighter. Colton is a great wrestler but Chiesa has some grappling chops of his own and is very dangerous with his submissions. As a state native of course most Texans will be happy to see Colton get the win here but he’ll have to do is as the prohibitive underdog.
Prediction: Michael Chiesa over Colton Smith by submission, RD3
UFC Fight for the Troops 3 – Undercard Quick Picks
155 lbs.: James Krause (20-4) vs. Bobby Green (20-5)
This should be a good fight considering both these guys took home impressive wins in their octagon debuts but James Krause in particular should be one to watch out for.
Prediction: James Krause over Bobby Green by TKO, RD3
135 lbs.: George Roop (14-9-1) vs. Francisco Rivera (9-2)
George Roop is heading into this one riding the wave of his last big win over Brian Bowles. Meanwhile Rivera is looking to get back into the good graces of the UFC in his first fight back since 2011 when he was jettisoned after testing positive for PED’s.
Prediction: Francisco Rivera over George Roop by KO, RD1
145 lbs.: Steven Siler (23-10) vs. Dennis Bermudez (11-3)
Dennis Bermudez is the stronger fighter and better wrestler here and should be able to handle his opponent here if he fights smart.
Prediction: Dennis Bermudez over Steven Siler by Unanimous Decision
135 lbs.: Germaine de Randamie (4-2) vs. Amanda Nunes (8-3)
This should be a kickboxer match between two women that love to strike. Germaine might be the more aggressive of the two and that should tip the scales in her favor.
Prediction: Germaine de Randamie over Amanda Nunes by Unanimous Decision
185 lbs.: Lorenz Larkin (13-1) vs. Chris Camozzi (19-6)
Chris Camozzi is resilient but Lorenz Larkin is by far the stronger of the two. If his cardio holds up, he should be able to take this one for the victory.
Prediction: Lorenz Larkin over Chris Camozzi by Unanimous Decision
145 lbs.: Yves Edwards (42-20-1) vs. Yancy Medeiros (9-1)
Yves Edwards is a timeless veteran and has showed remarkable staying power in his career. He only has two losses in a row and won’t be trying to lose his third at Ft. Cmapbell.
Prediction: Yves Edwards over Yancy Medeiros by Unanimous Decision
170 lbs.: Neil Magny (8-2) vs. Seth Baczynski (18-10)
“Polish Pistola” will be looking to right the ship following his loss to Neil Magny. Neil is a competent grappler but
Prediction: Seth Baczynski over Neil Magny by TKO, Round 2
185 lbs.: Derek Brunson (10-2) vs. Brian Houston (4-0)
Derek Brunson is too experienced for his opponent and should use his experience to win out in this one.
Prediction: Derek Brunson overe Brian Houston by TKO, RD1