Thursday, November 07, 2013

UFC Fight For The Troops 3

Last night, the UFC held its 3rd “Fight For the Troops” event in Fort Campbell, Kentucky.   This was one of the most memorable events the UFC has held in years.  The whole week leading up to it was all about the military.  Some of the most famous UFC fighters went down to visit the troops, to take pictures, sign autographs, and have some fun.  Chuck Lidell, UFC Hall of Famer, even gave a spinning back kick to the gut of one of the soldiers in attendance.  He took it like a champ; you can watch the video here

The whole feel and emotion of the night was what really made it special.  They packed out the venue with soldiers who were extremely excited to be there.  Everyone was decked out in camo, from the soldiers, to the ring girls, and even some of the fighters had on camo MMA fighting shorts that looked similar to ours.  In between fights, they told stories about wounded soldiers.  The stories truly reminded us all how grateful we should be to the veterans and active duty soldiers.  The event went towards a great cause too; money was being raised the whole night and donations were given to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Even though there were no big name fighters on the card, four military veterans competed, one of them being Tim Kennedy who fought in the main event.   Tim Kennedy, former Army Ranger and sharpshooter, got a huge ovation from his fellow brothers coming out to the ring.  I’ve been a fight fan for a long time now, and this was easily the most special fight I’ve ever witnessed.  Everything from the night all lead up to this moment.  His opportunity to fight in front of the men and women he served for 10 years of duty.

The bell rang and the fight started.  A minute into the first round all the soldiers in the crowd started to chant “RANGER UP! RANGER UP!” Tim was losing in the beginning of the round, but with 20 seconds left, he threw a flying left hook, which floored Rafael Natal.  The soldiers went crazy and the “USA! USA!” chants lasted for a couple of minutes.  After the fight, a very humble Tim Kennedy had this to say to the troops,

“I’m 100% overwhelmed.  Your guys’ jobs are infinitely harder than anything I could ever do here.  I don’t deserve to be here.  I love you guys so much. You guys are my heroes. You guys are my idols.  I’m a Christian I give the glory to God, but I worship you guys.  I love every one of you. “
All in all it was a feel good kind of night for America.  Patriotism was on display and money was raised for a good cause.  The fights were great, and the soldiers had a blast.  Look for UFC Fight For the Troops next year around the same time!

Peter Azzarone @ Rothco
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