UFC 162 fight card primer: Tim Kennedy vs. Roger Gracie

Esther Lin of MMA Fighting

Get all the details on the fight card for the UFC 162: Silva vs. Weidman PPV in our Bloody Elbow primer series. Here, we look at Tim Kennedy vs. Roger Gracie.

This Saturday July 6, the UFC is live in Las Vegas for UFC 162: Silva vs. Weidman. In a Middleweight fight, Tim Kennedy (15-4 MMA; UFC Debut) faces Roger Gracie (6-1 MMA, UFC Debut). This is the third of five fights on the UFC 162 PPV card. The UFC rankings currently have neither man ranked at Middleweight. UFC 162: Silva vs. Weidman airs live on PPV this Saturday July 6, with the main PPV card beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. PT.

Strikeforce Never Die! This is a battle of two former Strikeforce contenders, both making their UFC debuts. Both Kennedy and Gracie were well regarded in Strikeforce, and it's easy to envision their paths eventually having crossed for that organization. Now, they come to the UFC, and only one will get to make a successful UFC debut. There's definitely heavy pressure here, and it will be interesting to see how each man responds.

How do these two stack up?

Kennedy: 33 years old | 5'11" | 74" reach
Gracie: 31 years old | 6'4" | 79" reach

What have these two done recently?

Kennedy: W - Trevor Smith (Sub) | L - Luke Rockhold (UD) | W - Robbie Lawler (UD)
Gracie: W - Anthony Smith (Sub) | W - Keith Jardine (UD) | L - King Mo (KO)

How did these two get here?

Tim Kennedy is a respected Army veteran who has continued to serve in the military while pursuing a full-time MMA career. He's done quite well for himself, challenging for the Strikeforce Middleweight title twice, but coming up short both times. An outspoken fighter, Kennedy is not afraid to speak up about his beliefs - something that has earned him his share of both fans and detractors. Because of both his military career, and Strikeforce's woes, Kennedy has always fought somewhat sporadically - this will be only his 3rd fight in the past 2 years.

More on UFC 162: Silva vs. Weidman

Roger Gracie is, surprise surprise, a deadly submission fighter. He's one of the most decorated and respected submission grapplers of all time, and his transition to MMA was a big deal for grappling die-hards. Making his debut in 2006, Gracie only started focusing on MMA in 2010. His lone MMA loss comes against King Mo in a fight where Gracie was outstruck and KO'd. He's since improved on his striking and also dropped down to Middleweight. In the Gracie lineage, Roger is the grandson of Carlos Gracie, older brother to the legendary Helio.

Why should you care?

I'm excited to see how both of these men do inside the Octagon. Plus, while Gracie has really improved his striking, he's still Roger Gracie, which means there's always great potential for some grappling fireworks.

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