Tim Kennedy’s Twitter Attacks Result in UFC Fight for the Troops 3 Bout with Rafael Natal

October 1, 2013
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Tim-Kennedy-Strikeforce-Ohio-7512-478x270UFC middleweight Tim Kennedy’s Twitter campaign has finally paid off. The U.S. Army Special Forces Green Beret will square off with Rafael “Sapo” Natal in the UFC Fight for the Troops 3 main event on Nov. 6 at Fort Campbell in Kentucky.

“I’m relieved to announce I have an opponent. The @ufc met my terrorist demands, saving countless unicorns lives, & middleweights feelings,” Kennedy wrote on Tuesday, shortly after UFC officials announced his new opponent.

Kennedy was originally slated to welcome former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida to the 185-pound division, but Machida was tapped to face Mark Munoz at UFC Fight Night 30 when Munoz’s opponent, Michael Bisping, suffered a recurring detached retina injury.

Kennedy then took to Twitter, trying to drum up a new opponent on his own by calling out nearly every fighter in the UFC middleweight division that didn’t have a fight already scheduled, and a few that did.

Natal was one of the many that received a callout.

“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),” wrote Kennedy.

Natal had already been expected to face Ed Herman at UFC 167 on Nov. 16 in Las Vegas.

“Fanfarrao @TimKennedyMMA sorry but I’m gonna fight at UFC167 & I’m v happy w this card but b careful,m friend @ChrisCamozzi can kick ur ass,” he responded.

UFC officials, however, saw it differently and decided to pull Natal from its 20th Anniversary fight card and put him in the UFC Fight for the Troops 3 main event opposite Kennedy. The fight is scheduled for five rounds.

Kennedy (16-4) enters the fight coming off of back-to-back victories over Trevor Smith and Roger Gracie. His unanimous decision over Gracie at UFC 162 in July marked Kennedy’s promotional debut after having spent the past few years fighting for Strikeforce.

Natal (17-4-1) has been fighting under the UFC banner since 2010 and currently has a 5-2-1 record in the Octagon. He is currently on a three-fight winning streak, including his recent decision victory over Tor Troeng at UFC Fight Night 28 on Sept. 4 in Brazil.

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  • shakejunt

    there really wasn’t anyone available and main event worthy, at least the fight didn’t get scratched.

  • This guy is great for the sport. Business wise he learned his lesson about the comments he made but as a competitor he is always game and deserves the toughest matchups possible. If he can pull off two more wins after this I want to see him fighting for the title.

    • Mark McDowall

      This fight isn’t exactly a step forward…its kind of a half step back I think. But it will be an exciting fight…and he should definitely get a top 5-7 MW next.

      • Yea after beating Roger Gracie I thought he would get a big fight but I guess at this point he just wants to stay busy and of course stay on this card.

        • Mark McDowall

          depending on the time frame and if Kennedy comes out injury free…a fight with Bisping when he comes back could be interesting.

          • Adam Vogt North Yarmouth

            I’d like to see Machida v Bisping.

          • Mark McDowall

            Thats a good call too. Be interesting to see how Michida handles the weight cut.

          • Adam Vogt North Yarmouth

            I agree. If he were a wrestler I wouldn’t think anything of it because he is such an undersized LHW, but I have no idea how often he has had to cut serious weight in the past, and it will be interesting to see how his body responds.

          • Bisping and Costa P are both nice fights for him. Even though Costa is coming off a loss he’s still a great fighter.

          • Mark McDowall

            After his last fight I think Costa has ALOT of work to do. He showed that any decent wrestler could take him down at will and he could do nothing about it. He needs to work on that fast otherwise someone like Kennedy would destroy him.

        • Adam Vogt North Yarmouth

          I think a win over Natal is better for him than a loss to Machida. I like Kennedy and he’s a warrior, but Machida would pick him apart easily, in my opinion. Machida v Munoz and Kennedy v Natal are both better fights than Kennedy v Machida, I think.

          • That is true. There are still a lot of other interesting fights for Kennedy. The MW division is just tough.

  • Mark McDowall

    Tim Kennedy has done alot of things with this situation…

    1. He showed he’s willing to fight anyone. He called out people in his own and bigger weight classes.
    2. He showed how stupid other fighters look when they try to trash talk seriously.
    3. The UFC now knows that Kennedy is a guy they can get behind and he will fight anyone they throw in front of him!
    4. He’s actually kinda funny…

    • Adam Vogt North Yarmouth

      Especially #2 and #4….he is pretty funny!

  • jojo

    This sounds WWEish to me. If you have to resort to twitter to find someone to fight you, then something is wrong. Other fighters probably don’t see you as a great fighter.

    • Adam Vogt North Yarmouth

      That is why he made a joke of it.