by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
The bar for success was set pretty high early on in Martin Kampmann’s career. Whether it was stepping up on short notice or fighting in the middleweight division despite giving up size to a great many opponents, he was never a fighter to back down from a good challenge.
The “Hitman” is ready to set that bar a little bit higher for his next fight, a main event tilt against the last ever WEC welterweight champion, Carlos Condit, in the headline fight for Spike TV’s UFC Fight Night 18 event on April 1.
While the move to the welterweight division made sense for Kampmann, who was arguably one of the smaller 185-pounders competing in the UFC, his string of wins over fighters like Thales Leites and Drew McFedries left no doubts that the Danish born fighter could go toe to toe with the best in the world.
Following a TKO loss to Nate Marquardt in September 2008, the decision was made for Kampmann to move to the 170-pound weight class where he would finally be the bigger man in the fight. As he told MMAWeekly Radio recently, he made the cut with little problem.
“That cut was no problem at all. It felt good fighting at 70, and I actually cut too much weight, I weighed in at 168,” Kampmann commented. “I felt strong, I felt fast, I felt good. So no problem there.”
Kampmann stormed through his first opponent, Alexandre Barros, by TKO in the second round. While happy with the victory, there was one part that he wishes he could go back and erase from the fight.
“I would have preferred not to get kicked in the balls, but besides that it was okay,” Kampmann said with a laugh about his last fight.
Now the Xtreme Couture fighter returns for a much bigger challenge in the Top 10 ranked Condit, who steps into the bout with a great amount of hype from being the WEC welterweight king.
“I’ve seen him fight in the WEC, I know he’s a tough guy,” stated Kampmann. “He’s been beating up guys in the WEC, so I thought it was a good fight. I thought we matched up well against each other. I think it should be a good fight for sure.”
Both Kampmann and Condit come from kickboxing backgrounds, but have transitioned their games to much more than that since fighting tougher competition. While similar in some ways, Kampmann still believes the differences between he and Condit are great.
“I can see some similarities, but we’re still different fighters,” he commented. “I think we’ve both got good stand-up, and decent ground, I think we match up well.”
UFC president Dana White went as far as to say recently that if Condit is impressive he could earn a title shot in only a few more fights, but Kampmann isn’t worried if that’s the same path that he will travel.
“Right now I’m just focusing on Condit, and we’ll worry about all the other guys afterwards,” he said about the welterweight division.
He’ll get his chance, as Martin Kampmann takes on Carlos Condit in the main event of UFC Fight Night 18 on April 1 in Nashville, Tenn., live on Spike TV.