MMA Odds and Ends for Thursday: Machida vs. Kennedy Headlines Fight For The Troops 3

Lyoto Machida UFC president Dana White announced last night that former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida has dropped down to the middleweight division. His first opponent at 185 pounds will be none other than Tim Kennedy, who he takes on in the five-round main event of UFC Fight For The Troops 3, which is set for Nov. 6 in Fort Campbell. And no, don’t worry, you’re not the only one who doesn’t like this matchup as I really believe this fight is a waste of Machida’s time and that he should have got an opponent ranked in the top 10 for his first match at 185. The reason why that’s not the case, though, is because the UFC’s loaded schedule this winter made it necessary to split up Machida and Vitor Belfort as headliners, even though a fight between those two made sense for the division’s No. 1 contendership. But with both a Fight For The Troops Card and a Brazil card booked three days apart, the UFC instead decided to do Machida vs. Kennedy and Belfort vs. Dan Henderson (at 205) instead, although personally I don’t really like either matchup. Anyways, the fight’s been booked so now that I’ve got my complaining out of the way let’s quickly dissect it. At 205, Machida was one of the best strikers and he had one of the best takedown defenses. So unless he suffers dramatically from cutting weight he should be an absolute force to be reckoned with at 185. With added speed and fighting smaller opponents I do believe Machida can win the middleweight belt. But he has to get through Kennedy first and the US Army member is a very tough competitor with excellent grappling skills and a tremendous ability to take punishment and keep on fighting. However, he’s never faced anyone with the sort of striking Machida brings to the table and I expect him to be in a world of trouble against “The Dragon” this fall. I cap Machida at -500 and Kennedy at +400 for this fight. At that point I would pass but it the line for some reason dipped lower Machida might be worth a play. Kennedy, however, would need to be at least +800 to make me even consider a bet on him because I have to use my head here and, more times than not, Machida wins this fight, and he probably wins it with a highlight-reel KO. UFC Manchester Adds Two Fights The UFC Manchester card grew by two fights today with the additions of middleweight matchups between Andrew Craig and Luke Barnatt and another of Michael Kuiper vs. Brad Scott. I hate the Craig vs. Barnatt matchup and believe Craig should have been given a top 15 opponent. I cap Craig at -400 for this fight with Barnatt at +300 and I will be looking to play Craig in a parlay for sure. As for Kuiper vs. Scott, it’s a fun matchup but I have to give the edge to Kuiper and I cap him at -210 in this spot.

Written by Adam Martin.

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