Tim Kennedy to headline UFC’s ‘Fight for the Troops’ at Fort Campbell

Tim Kennedy kicks Roger Gracie during Kennedy’s decision win over the Brazilian grappler at UFC  162 in July. (USA Today Sports photo)

For the first time in its history, the UFC’s “Fight for the Troops” event will feature an actual soldier in the main event.

Staff Sgt. Tim Kennedy, a Special Forces veteran who serves in the Texas National Guard, will fight Lyoto Machida at “UFC Fight Night 31: Fight for the Troops 3″ on Nov. 6 at Fort Campbell, Ky., according to our friends at MMAjunkie.com.

Machida (19-4) is a former light heavyweight champion who will be fighting at middleweight for the first time. He’ll easily be the most high-profile opponent of Kennedy’s MMA career, and their matchup will present an interesting contrast in styles. Machida has a karate background that made him one of the more unorthodox strikers in the light heavyweight division.

Kennedy is a powerful grappler who tends to win by submissions or by wearing opponents down with a seemingly iron chin (Kennedy’s never been knocked out in MMA) and bottomless cardio. He’s coming off a decision win over Roger Gracie in July in his first UFC win; he previously fought in the now-defunct Strikeforce organization.

The “Fight for the Troops” card also features another active-duty soldier, a National Guardsman and a former Marine.

Staff Sgt. Colton Smith, an Army Combatives instructor at Fort Hood, Texas,  and the winner of season 16 of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality TV show, squares off against Michael Chiesa. Neil Magny, a guardsman who appeared on the same season of TUF, will face Seth Baczynski in a middleweight matchup.

Liz Carmouche, a former Marine and Iraq War veteran who fought Ronda Rousey in the UFC’s first women’s bout, takes on Alexis Davis.