UFC Fight Night 31    November 6, 2013
Tim Kennedy
Esther Lin/Forza LLC/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

BREAKDOWN

Bottom line, to beat Tim Kennedy a fighter needs to be at least two things: in shape and a decent grappler. Doesn't matter if you have knockout power for days (Robbie Lawler) or outstanding submissions (Roger Gracie) -- if you get tired and can't escape Kennedy's grappling web, you lose. On the surface, Rafael Natal appears to have these two qualities. He's a jiu-jitsu black belt with athleticism and he doesn't have a glaring endurance problem (at least for three rounds). His stand-up is OK, mostly just something to set up his takedowns. He goes for broke on those takedowns by the way, which is good if he's eventually successful, but potentially tough on his gas tank if he's not.
-- Brett Okamoto

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