colton-smith-6.jpg(This story first appeared in today’s USA TODAY.)

NASHVILLE – Tim Kennedy, Liz Carmouche and Colton Smith are among the top-billed fighters at tonight’s “UFC Fight Night 31: UFC Fight for the Troops 3.” Not long ago they could have been among the 4,000 or so uniformed military personnel who will be admitted free to the event instead of being the entertainment at the one-of-a-kind show.

The 13-fight lineup (FOX Sports 1, 5 p.m. ET) continues the UFC’s unique fight series, where the organization ventures to a military base to put on a show for troops and their families. This latest one, at Fort Campbell’s Sabre Air Field in Kentucky, supports the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.

The UFC’s first two Troops shows, in 2008 and 2011, raised more than $4 million for the charity. While the military events lack the glitz of pay-per-view and the glamour of Las Vegas and other popular host sites, the UFC had no shortage of volunteers. Kennedy, a former Green Beret sniper and weapons specialist, was among the first.

“I was begging, pleading, imploring, soliciting, offering – anything I can do to everyone in the UFC to get on this card,” said Kennedy (16-4 MMA, 0-1 UFC), who headlines the card opposite middleweight Rafael Natal (17-4-1 MMA, 5-2-1 UFC).

Carmouche, too, was quick to volunteer. After nearly pulling off a submission upset of undefeated champion Ronda Rousey earlier this year, the former Marine Corps helicopter electrician is back in the title hunt. She jumped at the UFC’s offer to put her on tonight’s card.

Carmouche (9-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC), who meets tough Canadian bantamweight Alexis Davis (14-5 MMA, 1-0 UFC) in the co-headliner, had her eye on a professional fighting career while she was still serving. And though many other fighters followed the same path, she said it’s not a guarantee of success in the cage.

“It depends on who you are in your military career,” she said. “If you’re one of those people who’s lazy and doesn’t really go for anything, then no, (the military) isn’t going to prepare you for fighting.

“But if you’re one of those go-getters and one of those people trying to be the best you can be, then it will translate to MMA because you have the discipline you need.”

Smith (3-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC), the card’s only active military member, knows all about discipline. The U.S. Army Ranger, who meets Michael Chiesa (9-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC), is balancing two grueling careers, though he considers one of them a relative walk in the park. So he hopes to give his military brethren a night of entertainment.

“What the troops do overseas, it’s hard, but what we (MMA fighters) do is easy,” he said. “I’m fighting in the cage, and worst-case scenario, I … get knocked out.

“Worst-case scenario in combat, you’re losing a buddy to your left and right. You’re coming back missing a limb, missing eyesight, PTSD, TBI – serious stuff.

“There’s nothing in my MMA career that’s been as hard as seeing the rigors of war.”

For the latest on UFC Fight Night 31, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

(Pictured: Colton Smith)

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Rashad Evans vs. Tim Kennedy Bout Canceled for UFC 205 | MMAWeekly.com

  • 28 days ago
  • 8 views

The highly anticipated middleweight match-up between Rashad Evans and Tim Kennedy has been pulled from Saturday's UFC 205 fight card. read news >>

Report: Medical issue knocks Rashad Evans from Saturday's UFC 205 bout with Tim Kennedy

  • 28 days ago
  • 22 views

With UFC 205 drawing near, the card has lost its first bout due to a medical issue.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>

Anderson Silva? Nick Diaz? Tim Kennedy is Looking for a Fight | MMAWeekly.com

  • 28 days ago
  • 16 views

Not willing to give up on fighting at UFC 205, Tim Kennedy took aim at some heavy hitters to step in for original opponent Rashad Evans. read news >>

Rashad Evans and Tim Kennedy to receive UFC 205 show money, but Kennedy will not fight

  • 28 days ago
  • 23 views

A middleweight bout between Rashad Evans and Tim Kennedy is officially off Saturday’s UFC 205, but both fighters will receive their show money.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>

UFC Won't Find New Opponent for Tim Kennedy, Shuffles Fight Schedule | MMAWeekly.com

  • 28 days ago
  • 17 views

With Rashad Evans not granted a license to fight at UFC 205 due to concerns about a medical issue, Tim Kennedy will also be pulled from the fight card. read news >>

Knockout Radio LIVE: Liz Carmouche, Michael Johnson, Tim Boetsch, and Marcus Davis | MMAWeekly.com

  • 27 days ago
  • 4 views

Tune in Wednesday, Nov. 9, at 6 pm ET, for Knockout Radio LIVE! with special guests Liz Carmouche, Michael Johnson, Tim Boetsch, and Marcus Davis. read news >>

Rashad Evans vs. Tim Kennedy rescheduled for UFC 206 in Toronto

  • 27 days ago
  • 5 views

The middleweight bout between Rashad Evans and Tim Kennedy that was pulled from UFC 205 in the midst of fight week has been added to December’s UFC 206 lineup.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Rashad Evans vs. Tim Kennedy Rebooked | MMAWeekly.com

  • 27 days ago
  • 10 views

Rashad Evans and Tim Kennedy was nixed for UFC 205 by the New York State Athletic Commission, but that hasn't stopped the UFC from rebooking the bout. read news >>

Liz Carmouche: Nothing compares to debut vs. Ronda Rousey, but UFC 205 still huge

  • 26 days ago
  • 13 views

NEW YORK – For many fans, UFC women’s bantamweight Liz Carmouche will go down in history as the first octagon opponent of Ronda Rousey. But for her, there’s another piece of history she wants to capt read news >>

Tim Kennedy Delves into UFC 205 Fight Fallout – EXCLUSIVE! | MMAWeekly.com

  • 25 days ago
  • 9 views

As of Friday, after weigh-ins, Tim Kennedy was still trying to get a fight, until he got definitive word during this exclusive interview with MMAWeekly.com. read news >>