Last night (Nov. 6, 2013), UFC came to us with FIGHT NIGHT 31 from Fort Campbell, Kentucky with a card headlined by the Middleweight brawl between Tim Kennedy and Rafael Natal. Kennedy was a big favorite at the sport books so he came through, which is not what can be said about the co-main event, where Liz Carmouche dropped a decision to underdog Alexis Davis. Natal was doing well in the opening round, keeping an aggressive Kennedy at bay with a wide array of strikes. Though nothing super effective landed by Natal, he was making Kennedy work and frustrating the American. as the round was coming to a close, Kennedy dropped Natal with a left hook and closed the deal off with a couple of follow-up punches to end the night. Natal, who has a 5-3-1 overall UFC record after the loss, is still a mid-level performer, while Kennedy notches his second UFC win as he starts to climb the ladder. A bout with Francis Carmont next would pit two guys who have been on the rise, and might prove interesting style-wise as well. Low and behold, Alexis Davis is 2-0 in the UFC’s women’s division, as she won a Unanimous Decision over Liz Carmouche. Carmouche, who was in the inaugural women’s UFC title bout against Ronda Rousey, drops to 1-2 in the UFC after this loss. A solid win might have put Carmouche back in the title picture for 2014, but instead it was Davis who puts her name in the mix. A step up match, such as a bout with the returning Cat Zingano, would be a good test for her. The match between Rustam Khabilov and Jorge Masvidal was a straight pic ’em fight that won ‘Fight of the Night’ bonuses for both men. The outcome however, is questionable, as many observers felt that Masvidal had carried the day. Khabilov is now 17-1 and this is by far his biggest win against a high profile opponent, so look for Khabilov to get a step-up fight. A match with fellow Russian protege Khabib Nurmagomedov could be interesting as both men are looking to keep their undefeated UFC records intact. One note from the preliminaries is that we may have seen the last of Yves Edwards, as he was KO’d by Yancy Medeiros to take his third loss in a row. At 37, Edwards is still one of the most technical strikers in all of MMA, and in his peak days, he was considered by many to be the ‘uncrowned’ UFC champion as a lightweight because the UFC had done away with the division. Edwards is one of the nicest and most well-spoken mixed martial artists out there, hopefully he continues as an instructor and trainer, but not as a fighter. For Highlights of the main event and co-main event, check out below: Tim Kennedy vs Rafael Natal
Alexis Davis vs Liz Carmouche
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