Tim Kennedy is lonely no longer. UFC officials pulled Brazilian middleweight Rafael Natal to challenge Kennedy in the main event of UFC Fight for the Troops 3.
Natal, who was scheduled to fight Ed Herman on Nov. 16 at UFC 167, will now meet Kennedy two weeks earlier in the five-round headlining bout. A new opponent for Herman has yet to be determined.
FOXSports.com first announced the news, which was then confirmed by UFC officials.
Kennedy (16-4) lost his initial opponent Lyoto Machida last week when an eye injury caused Michael Bisping's withdrawal from UFC Fight Night 30's main event, which led to Machida's subsequent selection as a replacement.
Natal (17-4-1) slips into his first headlining gig in the midst of a three-fight win streak, punctuated by a ‘Fight of the Night' victory over TUF 17's Tor Troeng in September. The 30-year-old has quietly won five of his last six contests, stumbling only to an Andrew Craig head kick last July.
UFC Fight Night 31 takes place November 6, 2013 at Fort Campbell in Fort Campbell, KY. An updated fight card can be seen below.
Tim Kennedy vs. Rafael Natal
Liz Carmouche vs. Alexis Davis
Ronny Markes vs. Yoel Romero
Rustam Khabilov vs. Jorge Masvidal
Michael Chiesa vs. Colton Smith
Preliminary Card (FOX Sports 1)
Bobby Green vs. James Krause
Francisco Rivera vs. George Roop
Dennis Bermudez vs. Steven Siler
Amanda Nunes vs. Germaine de Randamie
Preliminary Card (Facebook)
Lorenz Larkin vs. Chris Camozzi
Yves Edwards vs. Yancy Medeiros
Seth Baczynski vs. Neil Magny
Derek Brunson vs. Brian Houston