UFC 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.
I'm relieved to announce I have an opponent. The @ufc met my terrorist demands, saving countless unicorns lives, & middleweights feelings.
— Tim Kennedy (@TimKennedyMMA) October 1, 2013
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.
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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