UFC Fight For The Troops 3: Kennedy vs. Natal will be taking place on November 6th, 2013 in Fort Campbell, Kentucky at the Fort Campbell Arena. I will be giving a preview as well as my predictions for the winners of each fight.
The UFC Fight For The Troops 3 main card will air on FOX Sports 1 beginning at 7 p.m. EST/4 p.m. PST.
Main Event: Tim Kennedy vs. Rafael Natal:
While I would never count Natal out of this fight, I truly believe Tim Kennedy is simply the higher level fighter in this situation. Kennedy’s four losses in his professional career have come against some of the very best Middleweights in the sport, he even competed for the Strikeforce Middleweight title. As for Natal, he hasn’t faced the level of competition that Kennedy has and is still working his way up the ranks.
Both men are great grapplers, however, I believe Kennedy is the better grappler of the two. Kennedy should be able to utilize his wrestling to neutralize the jiu-jitsu of Natal, similar to his recent victory over Roger Gracie. The one way I see Natal being able to win this fight is if he clips Kennedy on the feet and swarms. In the end I see the active member of the U.S. Army, Tim Kennedy coming out on top in front of his military brothers and sisters.
Favorite: Kennedy (-360) Underdog: Natal (+295)
My Pick: Kennedy
Co-Main Event: #4 Liz Carmouche vs. #6 Alexis Davis:
In the co-main event we have another member of the the United States military in former Marine, Liz Carmouche. These women are two of the very best in the world and a win here for either could possibly put the winner one more victory away from a title shot.
I see a majority of this fight taking place on the mat. Carmouche should be able to take Davis down and work some strikes from in her guard for a majority of the contest. However, Davis is a very crafty submission artist, so don’t be surprised to see her work for something off her back and look to finish the fight by submission. Ultimately, Carmouche should be able to control where the fight takes place and out-muscle Davis, nabbing a gritty, decision victory.
Favorite: Carmouche (-210) Underdog: Davis (+180)
My Pick: Carmouche
Ronny Markes vs. Yoel Romero:
As surprising as this may sound, Yoel Romero is the most accomplished wrestler in all of MMA. Back in 2000 Romero won the silver metal in freestyle wrestling at the Olympic games in Sydney, Australia. Markes, on the other hand, has been on a quite impressive seven fight win streak and is 3-0 in the UFC. Both men are great grapplers, but Romero is on another level in that department and should be able to control Markes with his Olympic level wrestling. If the fight stays standing, it won’t comes as a surprise if Romero is able to finish Markes on the feet with his ever-improving striking.
Favorite: Romero (-185) Underdog: Markes (+160)
My Pick: Romero
Jorge Masvidal vs. Rustam Khabilov:
We haven’t seen much of Khabilov in the UFC octagon, but what we have seen has been his very impressive suplexes and grappling. While Masvidal has beaten tough guys and is known for having good takedown defense, I don’t think he’s ready for the powerful grappling style Khabilov possesses. Masvidal needs to keep this standing and avoid being rag-dolled in order to pull out the win. Unfortunately for Masvidal, I don’t see him being able to do that.
Favorite: Khabilov (-160) Underdog: Masvidal (+135)
My Pick: Khabilov
Michael Chiesa vs. Colton Smith:
Both fighters in this match-up have a couple of things in common. First, they are both winner of “The Ultimate Fighter” Chiesa season 15, Smith season 16. Smith is another U.S. military member, he’s currently an active-duty Army Ranger. As for the fight, I see Smith coming out of the gate pursing the takedown constantly, like he’s known for. While I can see Smith getting Chiesa down, I don’t see him keeping it there. Chiesa should be able to give Smith trouble on the feet with his reach advantage and possibly finish with the first TKO in his professional career.
Favorite: Chiesa (-155) Underdog: Smith (+135)
My Pick: Chiesa
James Krause (-145) < Bobby Green (+120)
Francisco Rivera (-120) < George Roop (+110)
Dennis Bermudez (-165) > Steven Siler (+140)
#9 Germaine de Randamie (-130) < #8 Amanda Nunes (+110)
Lorenz Larkin (-350) > Chris Camozzi (+290)
Yancy Medeiros (-215) < Yves Edwards (+182)
Neil Magny (-160) < Seth Baczynski (+135)
Derek Brunson (-175) > Brian Houston (+150)
*Odds Courtesy of BetDSI