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Tim Kennedy Has Lot Of Respect For Rafael Natal

Tim Kennedy will receive a welcome like no other next Wednesday night when he faces Rafael Natal at UFC Fight For The Troops 3.

As a military veteran, Kennedy’s greeting at Fort Campbell will be deafening.

“I expect to give the troops what they deserve: a great fight,” said Kennedy, on UFC Tonight Wednesday. “I have a lot of respect for him. He’s a tough guy, well rounded, great jiu-jitsu.”

Kennedy, a former contender to the Strikeforce middleweight title, was slated to face Lyoto Machida. However, Machida moved into a fight with Mark Munoz that he won last week.

The 34-year-old has won two straight and four of his last five, and still feels as if he has plenty left in the tank – though he still has that itch for combat.

“Stylistically, I can fight a long time. I’ve never taken a lot of damage. Diego Sanchez took more damage in one fight than I have in my career,” he said. “I can fight for another five, six or seven more years. I still want to get my long gun out and be sniper in Special Forces ODA, but I have some goals set in MMA and I’m still working on them.”