The UFC introduces another new fighter into the fray as young middleweight prospect Michael Kuiper (11-0) makes his Octagon debut at UFC 143 against veteran Rafael Natal (13-3-1, 1-1-1 UFC) in the evening's second bout.
While not a sexy fight, there are some elements that could make this quite entertaining.
How do these two stack up?
Natal: 29 years old | 77" reach | 6'0"
Kuiper: 22 years old | 6'0"
What have these two done recently?
Natal has won four of his last five, defeating Paul Bradley by unanimous decision at last August's UFC 133. The Netherlands-born Kuiper will make his U.S. debut after running up a perfect record fighting in the Netherlands and throughout Europe. He last competed nearly nine months ago, knocking out Morris Cilfoni in the first round.
What else should you know?
Natal has been around the MMA block with 17 pro fights in various organizations, but hasn't made an impact in the UFC with three largely forgettable performances. Before signing with the UFC, he had finished opponents in five straight victories. Kuiper is an interesting sign by the UFC as he's just 22 years old and has finished 10 of his 11 opponents. He's also a black belt in judo and has shown he can submit opponents as easily as he can knock them out.
Natal may have an advantage if the fight goes the distance as Kuiper has just one career decision with six fights never getting out of the first round.
Why should you care?
By name value alone, this fight isn't exciting anyone, but if Natal takes some risks in going for finishes and Kuiper continues to display the skill set he's used thus far in his near three-year career, this could be a lot more entertaining than most expect.
How can I watch?
Facebook at approximately 7:30 PM EST
You can catch morepreview content from Bloody Elbow after the jump.
- UFC 143 Judo Chop: Fabricio Werdum Striking Analysis - Fraser Coffeen
- UFC 143 'Diaz Vs. Condit' Exclusive Weigh-Ins Photo Gallery - Matthew Roth
- Super Bowl XLVI Video: NFL Players Pick The Winners of UFC 143 - Matthew Roth
- UFC 143 Weigh-In Results: Carlos Condit 169, Nick Diaz 169 - Tim Burke
- UFC 143: Diaz Vs. Condit - Renan Barao Vs. Scott Jorgensen Dissection - Dallas Winston
- UFC 143: Diaz Vs. Condit Staff Predictions - Tim Burke
- Frank Mir Thinks UFC 143's Fabricio Werdum Is Heavyweight's Best Grappler - Matthew Roth
- UFC 143 Weigh-In Video And Coverage - Tim Burke
- UFC 143 Video: Watch Full Countdown Show On Bloody Elbow - Josh Nason
- UFC 143 Judo Chop: Carlos Condit Lands A Flying Knee KO - Fraser Coffeen
- UFC 143: Dana White 'No One Knew GSP At One Time Either' - Matthew Roth
- UFC 143: Details Of The New PPV Opening Montage, RIP Gladiator Man - Matthew Roth
- UFC 143: Diaz Vs. Condit - Ed Herman Vs. Clifford Starks Dissection - Dallas Winston
- UFC 143: Picking Knockout, Submission And Fight Of The Night Bonuses - Brent Brookhouse
- UFC 143 Judo Chop: The Striking And Grappling Technique Of Nick Diaz - Kid Nate
- UFC 143 Pre-Fight Press Conference Coverage And Video - Tim Burke
- UFC 143 Video: Josh Koscheck Hopes Georges St. Pierre 'Never Comes Back' From Knee Surgery - Kid Nate
- Bad Boy Presents Bloody Elbow Radio - Episode 131: UFC 143 Preview - Matt Bishop
- UFC 143 Video: Nick Diaz Not Happy With UFC Editing - Tim Burke
- UFC 143: A Look At The Ground Games of Fabricio Werdum and Roy Nelson - Ben Thapa
- UFC 143: Nick Diaz Details The Story Behind His Elite Level Conditioning - Anton Tabuena
- UFC 143: Diaz Vs. Condit Betting Lines - Tim Burke
- UFC 143 Video: Nick Diaz Talks Carlos Condit, Georges St. Pierre - Kid Nate
- UFC 143: Diaz Vs. Condit - FX Channel Preliminary Card Dissection - Dallas Winston
- UFC 143: Nick Diaz Vs. Carlos Condit Defines 'Gameness' - Kid Nate
- UFC 143: Undefeated Stephen Thompson Hopes To Make Case For Karate In MMA - Kid Nate
- UFC 143: Diaz Vs. Condit - Facebook Preliminary Card Dissection - Dallas Winston
- UFC 143: The Contradictory Marketing Of Nick Diaz And How The Reem May Not Be As Awesome As You Think - Ben Thapa