(That’s the easy, confident smile of a guy who knows he could probably call in a drone strike if things aren’t going his way. / Photo via Facebook.com/MMAFighting)
For one night only, it’s okay to be a flag-wavin’ jackass. That’s right kids, it’s Fight for the Troops time again, and the UFC is in Fort Campbell with a card full of “us vs. them” matchups. On the menu for tonight: Army Special Forces Operator Tim Kennedy faces
tennis legend Brazilian guy Rafael Natal, former Marine Liz Carmouche takes on Canadian BJJ black belt Alexis Davis, and Army Staff Sgt. Colton Smith puts the boots to a filthy, bearded hippie. Plus: A Cuban and a Russian, just to keep those boos comin’. Should be fun.
Handling play-by-play for the Fox Sports 1 main card will be our own Matt Kaplan, who will be sticking live results after the jump beginning at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and please shoot your own thoughts into the comments section. #murica
PRELIMINARY CARD RESULTS
- Bobby Green def. James Krause via TKO, 3:30 of round 1 (weird finish)
- Francisco Rivera def. George Roop via TKO, 2:40 of round 2
- Dennis Bermudez def. Steven Siler via unanimous decision (30-27 x 3)
- Amanda Nunes def. Germaine de Randamie via TKO, 3:36 of round 1
- Lorenz Larkin def. Chris Camozzi via unanimous decision (30-27 x 2, 29-28)
- Yancy Medeiros def. Yves Edwards via KO, 2:47 of round 1
- Seth Baczynski def. Neil Magny via unanimous decision (29-28 x 3)
- Derek Brunson def. Brian Houston via submission (rear-naked choke), 0:48 of round 1
My brother, currently a U.S. Army Ranger captain stationed in Savannah, GA, used to be at Ft. Campbell with the 101st, so I’ve been anxious to cover this event (and Tim Kennedy, of course). And here we are.
Colton Smith vs Michael Chiesa
Rd. 1: Both men paw tentatively, and Smith opens with an easy roundhouse kick that grazes. Smith kicks higher now. Chiesa kicks, and Smith smiles at him. Chiesa charges in with a punch, and they clinch. Smith gets the takedown, and Chiesa turns towards Smith. Sweep, back control, and body triangle for Chiesa as he goes for the neck. Smith pries Chiesa’s hands away for now, escapes, and takes Chiesa’s back. Chiesa is up, but Smith is all over him. Smith looks to sink in the RNC as Chiesa tries to slam Smith off of him by dropping to the mat. Chiesa is out of the choke for now, but seemed to have taken a lot from Chiesa. Smith still has back control. Chiesa escapes and gets to his feet just seconds before the bell.
Rd 2: Early clinch and Smith has Chiesa against the cage. Smith lands some knees. Chiesa is off the cage and lands some long punches. Again Smith has Chiesa against the cage. Chiesa gets the takedown, takes Smith’s back, and chokes him out. That was an emphatic slam for a takedown, and the finish came seconds later. Looks like Smith was knocked silly by the takedown. Yup; they just replayed it. Chiesa hip tossed Smith onto his head. Nice win for Michael “Maverick” Chiesa.
Winner: Michael Chiesa via submission (rear-naked choke), 1:41 of round 2
Jorge Masvidal vs. Rustam Khabilov
Rd 1: Early jab, faked shot, and beefy overhand right from Khabilov. That was heavy. Masvidal is starting slowly, but throwing hard. Both men look poised. Khabilov keeps changing levels, which seems to be keepi ng Masvidal from opening up. Khabilov misses a big right hook and bounces around calmly. Masvidal, Joe Rogan points out, might want to go back to some leg kicks. Masvidal presses ahead, clinches, and knees Khabilov. Khabilov grabs a single leg, but Masvidal knees and escapes. Masvidal lands a kick to the body. A Masvidal flying knee ends in a brief scramble. Masvidal is catching kicks and landing leg strikes of his own now. Khabilov catches a Masvidal kick and lands an overhand right. The round ends with both men clinching on the cage. Good action so far.
Rd 2: Khabilov looks loose, as does Masvidal. Khabilov is committed to the jab and working off of it. Masvidal is kicking now. Another 1-2 from Khabilov. Masvidal knees from the clinch and gets out before Khabilov gets a real hold of him. Nice left from Masvidal. Khabilov is really looking for that big overhand right off the jab. Again they clinch against the face, where Masvidal is hitting with knees. Masvidal drags Khabilov down and throws ‘bows. Khabilov is up now, and they separate. Khabilov charges in for the double, but Masvidal is staying up. Khabilov is having a hard time keeping Masvidal down. 1-2 from Khabilov, and there’s the horn.
Rd 3: Khabilov throws an early kick upstairs, which Masvidal blocks. Both men trade jabs. Stinging straight right from Masvidal. Spinning back heel kick to the face from Khabilov and Masvidal is down. Khabilov has his back and Masvidal is spinning away. Jeez. They scramble, but Khabilov has back control and looks for the choke. Masvidal hip escapes and seems to have recovered a bit. Wow. They’re back up. Masvidal stuffs a takedown and has Khabilov against the cage. Masvidal tosses Khabilov down, but Khabilov is back up right away. Masvidal tries the same spinning back kick, but Khabilov smothers it and has back control. Masvidal rolls out and goes for Khabilov’s back. They’re up against the cage. They scramble. Masvidal shoots, Khabilov pounds at the body, and there’s the horn. Good fight.
Winner: Rustam Khabilov via unanimous decision (30-27 x 2, 29-28)
Ronny Markes vs. Yoel Romero
Rd 1: Nice inside leg kick from Markes early on. Romero flicks a kick after some feeling out. Markes snatches Romero’s lead leg, gets the takedown, but Romero pops up. Romero lands a hard left hand. Romero kicks at the body, slips, but is back up again before Markes can capitalize. Markes is looking to land the right cross, but Romero is moving fluidly. They clinch, and Markes is on top of Romero in side control. Markes lands some leather and wants the kimura on the left arm. Romero escapes, and they’re up. Straight left from Romero, who’s keeping his hands very high. Another left to the chin from Romero. Markes kicks the body. Markes misses a front head kick and stuffs a takedown. Markes front kicks to the body, but Romero blocks.
Rd 2: Romero pumps his right jab, blocks a head kick from Markes, and stuffs a takedown attempt. Romero kicks at the lead leg. Markes answers with an uppercut that misses. Markes hasn’t answered Romero’s left hand, and Romero muscles Markes to the mat. Markes is up and eats another left. Markes misses with both hands, and there’s the Romero left hand, right down the middle. Heavy kick to the body from Romero. Markes is down and Romero stands over him. The ref stands Markes up. Romero changes levels and lands another hard left. Here comes Markes with punches, but Romero ducks away from each strike. Romero fakes a shot and eats a right from Markes right before the round ends.
Rd 3: Markes comes out swinging, misses the takedown, and wants Romero to follow him to the ground. Nope. Romero answers a Markes left hand with a harder left of his own. Nice body kick from Markes. Romero sticks a left hand to the body of Markes. BAM. Romero drops Markes with a left over the top, follows up with a right hammer fist, and that’s it.
Winner: Yoel Romero via TKO, 1:39 of round 3
Liz Carmouche vs. Alexis Davis
Rd 1: All the ladies in the house say, “Ye-ah.” The lefty Carmouche jabs and kicks early, but Davis defends. Davis jabs and avoids a hard right from Carmouche. Carmouche kicks the lead leg and circles away from Davis’s right hand. Carmouche kicks the inside leg, and Davis counters with a 1-2 that Carmouche blocks. Davis licks low and again fires a 1-2. Davis blocks and overhand right from Carmouche. Davis is landing that inside leg kick, and it seems to be taking a toll on Carmouche, who kicks the outside of the lead leg of Davis. Big right from Carmouche. Both ladies kick at one another’s legs now,Davis kicks low, throws a 1-2, and there’s the horn.
Rd 2: Davis again sets up the 1-2 with the leg kick. Carmouche is kicking low and throwing the right over the top, but Davis is controlling the center of the cage. Hard punch from Carmouche, and Davis is cut. They clinch against the cage, but break subsequently. Davis is bleeding pretty heavily from her left eye brow now. She keeps coming forward though. Carmouche kicks at the body and backs off of the longer Davis. Davis pumps the left jab as Davis pumps the left jab as kicks low. Again Davis kicks the inside of the lead leg really hard. Carmouche’s right leg is definitely bothering her now. Davis catches a Carmouche kick and throws Carmouche down. Davis is in half guard and dropping the shoulder on Carmouche. Davis keeps side control and knees the body with ten seconds left. Carmouche escapes and gets top position, but the round ends before she can get any offense going.
Rd 3: Davis fires the 1-2 and knocks Carmouche down with a hard, low kick to the lead leg. They clinch against the cage; knees from Davis to the body and thighs. Carmouche lands a knee of her own, but Davis has double underhooks. The ref breaks them up and they go back to the center of the cage. Another 1-2 from the bloodied Davis. Carmouche is circling away pretty well, but there go two more hard kicks from Davis. Davis again has Carmouche on the fence and lands an elbow from close quarters. Both women swing and miss in the center of the octagon. Davis is getting her strikes off first, and Carmouche is flat-footed now. Davis keeps kicking and moving ahead. Carmouche lands a short uppercut and a front kick to the body, and that’s the end of the fight.
Winner: Alexis Davis via unanimous decision (30 x 27 x 2, 29-28)
Tim Kennedy vs. Rafael Natal
Rd 1: Kennedy catches a kick from Natal and fires an overhand right. Natal kicks again. And again. Once more. Natal ducks a right hand and lands a jab to Kennedy. Natal pumps the jab, and Kennedy answers with a high kick. A left hand from Natal sneaks through. Natal kicks low, Kennedy high. Natal ducks a right hook and gets a quick takedown, but Kennedy pops up. Natal drops Kennedy with a hard leg kick. Kennedy lands a kick of his own. Kennedy’s left leg is red now. Huge body kick from Kennedy. Kennedy kicks high and misses with the right. Natal kicks low steps back, and throws a spinning back fist. Natal has been switching stances, and Kennedy is staying patient. A monster left hook catches Natal backing up, and he’s down. Kennedy drops some bombs, and that’s it. Natal is out.
Winner: Tim Kennedy via KO, 4:40 of round 1
I’m out. - Mk