UFC: Fight for the Troops 3 on Wednesday, Nov. 6 will take place at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and will be televised live on Fox Sports 1. Also known as UFC Fight Night 31, the event will raise money for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, a nonprofit that helps wounded troops and their families.
Featured on the card are military veterans Liz Carmouche, Colton Smith, Neil Magny, Tim Kennedy. At the first Fight for the Troops in 2006, Kennedy was cheering in the crowd; now he will face off against Brazilian Rafael 'Sapo' Natal in the main event.
“This is like coming home for me,” Kennedy tells Military Times OFFduty. He’ll face off against Brazilian Rafael “Sapo” Natal in the top card Nov. 6 for this year’s Fight for the Troops, which will be televised live on Fox Sports 1 from Fort Campbell, Ky.
Other veterans and active-duty troops slated to storm the octagon Wednesday including:
•Former Marine Liz “Girl-rilla” Carmouche will face off against Alexis Davis. Carmouche made history as the first woman in the UFC. She’s also the first opening gay fighter in mixed martial arts’ equivalent of the NFL.
•Active-duty Staff Sgt. Colton Smith, winner Season 16 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” squares off against Michael Chiesa, winner of Season 15.
•Illinois Army National Guard Sgt. Neil Magny will fight Seth “Polish Pistola” Baczynski in preliminaries that will be streamed live online.
At the first Fight for the Troops, held near Fort Bragg, N.C., six fighters suffered injuries so severe they had to be hospitalized.
“It was pretty bloody,” says Kennedy, who served on active duty in Iraq with Special Forces and is now in the Texas Army National Guard. “You put a bunch of professional fighters in front of a military crowd, and they’re going to fight.”
He’s girding for the same level of intensity now that he’s the one in the cage.
“There will be fireworks the whole night,” he promises.
Kennedy says he’s looking forward to his first fight in front of a military crowd since winning the Army Combatives Tournament four years ago.
“It’s going to be awesome. There’s nothing bad about it. I do something great, people are going to scream. I do something not great, and it will be quiet — which both do great things to a judge’s mind.”
In pre-fight smack talking, Natal has told reporters he expects to submit Kennedy, who’s never tapped out of a fight.
Kennedy’s not hearing it. “I’m not saying I’m never going to get submitted ever in my life, but he’s not going to submit me Wednesday night.”
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