In this edition of “All Five Rounds”, we’ll take a look at some of the main card results from this past Wednesday’s “Fight Night for the Troops”, preview this Saturday’s main event between a pair of veteran light heavyweights, and update the situation between reigning 205 pound-king Jon Jones and his newest opponent, Glover Teixeira.
As always, both the UFC and Bellator are in the midst of a busy schedule that includes some of the sport’s most talented athletes fighting for the most coveted titles, and the upcoming months leading into the early part of 2014 look as though they will offer more of the same.
In order to keep pace with this fan-friendly schedule, be sure to check “All Five Rounds” out every Friday for a few of the more intriguing headlines from the world of mixed martial arts.
Kennedy Earns KO Win at UFC “Fight Night for the Troops”
At this past Wednesday’s UFC “Fight Night for the Troops”, middleweight newcomer Tim Kennedy put an exclamation mark on the night’s featured bout with a vicious, first-round knockout of Rafael Natal before an energized crowd consisting of members from the United States military at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
With the win, Kennedy improves to (17-4-0) overall, and is now 2-0 in the UFC after defeating Roger Gracie in his debut this past July.
A former Strikeforce middleweight contender, Kennedy is also a former member of the United States military which made the victory all the more important, and has now managed to crack the top-10 UFC middleweight rankings for the first time in his career.
For Natal, the loss dropped him to (17-5-1) overall, and it was his first defeat of 2013 in four octagon appearances.
In other main card action, Alexis Davis (15-5-0) defeated Liz Carmouche in a women’s bantamweight tilt, despite a strong effort from the former title contender.
Middleweight Yoel Romero (6-1-0) earned a win over Ronny Markes (14-2-0) with a third-round knockout, while lightweights Rustam Khabilov (17-1-0) defeated Jorge Masvidal (25-8-0) in a three-round decision, and Michael Chiesa (10-1-0) beat Colton Smith (6-3-0) with a second-round submission.
Jones Next Title Defense Still Without a Date
Since defeating Alexander Gustafsson this past September to retain is UFC light heavyweight belt, current 205 pound champ Jon Jones has kept both the media and fanbase waiting anxiously for the announcement of his next title defense.
Immediately following September’s win, it was widely believed that a rematch between Jones and Gustafsson would be in the near future, and obviously before any other light heavyweight contender got his opportunity to challenge for the title. As usual, the UFC recognized the demand for an immediate rematch and announced that the bout would take place during Super Bowl weekend on February 1st in Newark, New Jersey.
As one of the promotion’s most fan-friendly and profitable fighters however, Jon Jones has a certain amount power regarding who he will face and on what timetable, and the champion chose to exercise that power when he notified President Dana White that he wouldn’t be ready to face Gustafsson in February, and that he was more interested in facing Glover Teixeira instead.
As it stands now, Jones is reportedly considering March 2014 for the bout, but has also said that he would be open to February 22, 2014 at UFC 170 as another option.
With his current streak of 20-straight wins to his credit, Teixeira has shot up the light heavyweight rankings, and earned the 205-pound title shot after his victory over former contender Ryan Bader in September.
Pair of Veteran Light Heavyweights Headline UFC Fight Night on November 9th
In the main event of Saturday night’s UFC Fight Night in Brazil, 43-year-old Dan Henderson (29-10-0), will take on a 36-year-old Vitor Belfort (23-10-0) in a light heavyweight rematch between two of the division’s most legendary combatants.
In their first meeting which took place in October of 2006 while both were competing for the “Pride” promotion, Henderson defeated Belfort by a three-round, unanimous decision at the tail end of the most difficult time in the Brazilian’s career. Prior to his initial fight with Henderson, Belfort had posted a horrid 1-5 record over a two-year stretch that ran from August of 2004, to October of 2006.
While both are aging, but talented, veteran- light heavyweights who still possess the ability to compete amongst the division’s elite, Dan Henderson and Vitor Belfort enter Saturday night’s event in two very different situations.
Currently unranked in the light heavyweight division, Belfort will be making his third UFC appearance of 2013, and has reminded the world that he is still extremely dangerous with two devastating knockout wins over Luke Rockhold and Michael Bisping since January.
While Henderson is ranked at number six in the division, the former wrestler lost his last octagon appearance to fellow contender Rashad Evans in June, and was defeated by Lyoto Machida this past February, leaving the California native in desperate need of a victory.