Roger Gracie and Tim Kennedy to meet on July 6th | UFC News
A couple of former Strikeforce middleweight contenders will make their UFC debuts against each other. Roger Gracie and Tim Kennedy have agreed to fight on July 6th at Las Vegas, on a to-be-announced “Independence Day” card, as reported by Sportv.com.
Gracie, a 10-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Champion, will make his 3rd fight at 185 pounds after initiating his MMA career as a light heavyweight. Since moving down to the middleweight division, the 31-year-old Brazilian has accomplished two victories in a row.
The 33-year-old Kennedy was ranked among the elite of the Strikeforce middleweight division since entering the organization on June of 2010, fighting for the belt twice. On both occasions, against Ronaldo “Jacaré” Souza in 2010 and Luke Rockhold in 2012, Kennedy came up short. He’s coming off three wins in his last four bouts.
The fight was initially planned to happen at UFC on FX 8 at Santa Catarina, Brazil, but it was turned down by Gracie due to the upcoming birth of his daughter, scheduled to happen around the time of that event, on May 18th. Now with the bout being offered on July, Gracie saw no reason to not accept it and finally make his Octagon debut, carrying on the family legacy that started all the way back at UFC 1, when his cousin Royce was crowned the tournament champion, a feat that he would repeat two more times.
Both fighters were part of the last ever Strikeforce event, on January 12th of 2013. Gracie defeated Anthony Smith via arm-triangle choke. Kennedy’s victory also was due to a choke: a guillotine over Trevor Smith.