After calling out pretty much the entire UFC roster recently after his originally scheduled fight with Lyoto Machida fell through, Tim Kennedy has finally had his next opponent confirmed.
Kennedy will now fight Rafael ‘Sapao’ Natal in main event of ‘UFC Fight For The Troops 3’ (AKA UFC Fight Night 31) in Kentucky on November 6th.
Natal was in fact one of the many people Kennedy contacted on Twitter while trying to find a new fight earlier this week, telling him, “Opportunity knocks @rafaelsaponatal you always win, but no one knows who you are. When I’m done with you, neither will you(Tough guy voice).”
Truth be told though, it’s probably not the fight Kennedy was hoping for and is a considerable step down from the high-profile bout with Machida he’d been preparing for until ‘The Dragon’ was drafted in to replace Michael Bisping against Mark Munoz at ‘UFC Fight Night 30’ in October instead.
That’s not to say Natal isn’t a capable fighter however – hes currently on a three-fight winning streak and is 6-2-1 in the UFC overall, though surprisingly given that solid record he’s never fought anyone of any real standing in the promotion so this is a big step up in competition for him.
As for Kennedy, the former two-time Strikeforce middleweight title challenger made a solid start to his UFC career in July with a convincing decision win over Roger Gracie.
Kennedy Vs Natal might be the weakest headliner we’ve seen in quite some time, and backed up by a co-main event featuring Liz Carmouche Vs Alexis Davis it doesn’t seem like this is going to be a big ratings winner for FOX Sports 1.
Nevertheless, it’s still free MMA, and the fact that the audience is comprised of American troops on an active military base generally adds a little extra spice to these ‘Fight For The Troops’ events and often results in the fighters raising their game inside the Octagon.