UFC Fight for the Troops fight card primer: Tim Kennedy vs Rafael Natal

Bloody Elbow presents their UFC Fight for the Troops 3 fight card primer, previewing all the action at this Wednesday's UFC Fight for the Troops 3 event live on Fox Sports 1. Here, we look at the main event: Tim Kennedy vs. Rafael Natal.

In the main event at UFC Fight for the Troops 3, active US Army Staff Sergeant Tim Kennedy (16-4 MMA; 1-0 UFC) takes on Rafael Natal (17-4-1 MMA; 5-2-1 UFC). This Middleweight fight headlines the five fight main card live from Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Neither man is currently ranked in the official UFC rankings, though I imagine Kennedy is just outside the top 10. UFC Fight for the Troops 3 airs live this Wednesday, November 6 on Fox Sports 1 with a fight time of 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT for the main card.

While this is something of a throwaway fight, it's hard to fault it. Clearly this is here for one purpose - to show support for the US Armed Forces. Originally, Kennedy was to face Lyoto Machida at this event, but when Machida was moved to face Munoz, Kennedy was left without an opponent. Due to his military connection, Kennedy lobbied hard to keep his main event slot. Eventually, Natal agreed to step in, setting up this fight.

How do these two stack up?

Kennedy: 34 years old | 5'11" | 74" reach
Natal: 30 years old | 6'0"

What have these two done recently?

Kennedy: W - Roger Gracie (UD) | W - Trevor Smith (Sub) | L - Luke Rockhold (UD)
Natal: W - Tor Troeng (UD) | W - Joao Zeferino (UD) | W - Sean Spencer (Sub)

How did these two get here?

Tim Kennedy is most notable here for his great accomplishments in the Army. While being active in the Army, he has managed to put together a pretty remarkable MMA career including a strong run in Strikeforce and a win in his UFC debut. Kennedy is an all around solid fighter, with good jiu jitsu and ground skills, and decent striking. He works with Jackson's team in Albuquerque. Expect him to be very fired up here.

More Bloody Elbow coverage of UFC Fight for the Troops 3

Rafael "Sapo" Natal is in an extremely unenviable position here. The Brazilian fighter will try to spoil the night of Kennedy, while fighting not only in the US, but in a military setting. A win here would be big for Sapo, but would be a rough result for the fans. An 8 year pro, Natal came to the UFC in 2010. He had a bumpy start, but has settled into a solid groove and is 5-1 in his last 6 inside the Octagon. Like Kennedy, Natal has a solid jiu jitsu background which he uses to grind his opponents down.

Why should you care?

For the crowd. They should make what could otherwise be a slightly dull stylistic match-up into something exciting.

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