TUF champ showdown announced

Colton Smith will drop down to lightweight to fight Michael Chiesa at Fight for the Troops.
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Mike Chiappetta

Mike Chiappetta has documented the fast-growing sport of mixed martial arts since 2006 for news organizations including SB Nation, NBCSports.com, FIGHT! Magazine, AOL and ESPN. He appears regularly as an analyst on countless television shows and radio programs, including CBS Radio and MMA Beat. Follow him on Twitter.


UFC’s Fight for the Troops Nov. 6 card continued to form on Friday, with two significant fights added to the show.

FOX Sports has confirmed with UFC officials that a matchup between surging featherweights Nik Lentz and Dennis Bermudez has been agreed upon, as well as a lightweight pairing of recent Ultimate Fighter winners Michael Chiesa and Colton Smith.

Colton Smith reacts after defeating Jesse Barrett

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 31: Colton Smith reacts after defeating Jesse Barrett during an elimination bout to join the cast of The Ultimate Fighter season sixteen at Mandalay Bay on July 31, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Al Powers/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC

Lentz (24-5-2, 1 no contest) has reinvented himself since moving down a division, and has swept three straight opponents, earning decisions over Hacran Dias and Diego Nunes, as well as a TKO over Eiji Mitsuoka. The streak has moved him into the top 10 of the UFC rankings, currently occupying the No. 8 slot.

Despite being unranked, Bermudez (11-3) has an even longer streak going, four straight including a 2013 Fight of the Year nominee that resulted in a split-decision over Matt Grice. In his most recent bout, he topped Max Holloway at UFC 160.

The other bout will mark Smith’s official debut as a lightweight. He captured TUF season 16 as a welterweight, topping Mike Ricci, but made the move to 155 pounds after losing to Robert Whittaker at UFC 160 in May. An active duty Ranger, Smith should be a massive favorite at the event, which takes place at the Army base in Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

His opponent Chiesa (9-1) won season 15 of TUF, defeating Al Iaquinta in the finals. He captured his first two official octagon bouts before losing for the first time, falling by submission to former Strikeforce No. 1 contender Jose Masvidal.

UFC Fight for the Troops features a main event pitting former light-heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida dropping to 185 pounds to face former Army Ranger and ex-Strikeforce top contender Tim Kennedy. The event, like two that have come before it, will also serve to benefit veteran’s causes.

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