Martin Kampmann: The Forgotten Contender

If you hear about the top contenders in the UFC’s welterweight division, names like Jake Ellenberger and Johny Hendricks come immediately to mind.

Divisional mainstays like Josh Koscheck and Jon Fitch still lurk in the shadows, always seemingly in the conversation for title contention, as well.

But what about the one guy who currently holds a win over interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit in the UFC?

The best way to describe Martin Kampmann‘s time at 170 pounds in the UFC could be “always the bridesmaid, never the bride.”

The Dane is always just a step away from a title shot only to have it snatched away. Following the win over Condit, Kampmann fell victim to Paul Daley by knockout, and while he still believes to this day that the fight was stopped too early, it’s a pattern he’s been known to develop during fights.

“My mistake in that fight and I still do it in training sometimes, it’s a bad habit, when somebody gets me with a good shot I get fired up and I’m like ‘okay, let’s get you back (expletive),'” Kampmann explained when speaking to MMAWeekly Radio. “Sometimes that’s not the best thing, sometimes you’ve got to take a step back and get your composure before you just starting going in and firing back.”

Kampmann did rebound and won his next two fights after that, over Jacob Volkmann and Paulo Thiago, before losing a razor close split decision to Jake Shields, and then another highly controversial loss to Diego Sanchez.

He bounced back once again at UFC 139 where he defeated Rick Story. Now Kampmann faces Thiago Alves at UFC on FX 2 with a chance to climb back into the welterweight title picture.

Learning from past mistakes is a big part of what Kampmann did to get ready for his fight with Alves, and while he promises excitement, it won’t come at the cost of a loss.

“I don’t want to do anything just to swing for the fences and exchange punches. I want to go in and pick my shots and pick him apart standing,” said Kampmann. “He can hold his own standing too, so I think that’s going to make for a great fight. He’s a heavy hitter but I can usually eat a punch too. I mean I hope I don’t get punched, but it might not be realistic.

“I’m sure we’re going to exchange some punches and that’s why we get paid. We get paid to fight.”

If Kampmann’s strategy works and he’s successful in his fight with Thiago Alves, then he’d be more than happy to give Condit a rematch for their bout in 2009. This time with a title on the line.

“I’d love to, obviously he’s got a target on his back now that he won the interim championship, so I’d love to fight him again. We had a great scrap the first time we fought, and I know he’d want the chance to avenge that loss; he told me himself. So, obviously, he’s got the belt, so he’s one of the No. 1 guys I’d like to fight of course,” Kampmann stated.

“I think that’s a great idea, I’m down.”

There is still definitely business at hand, however, and without a win in Australia this weekend, Kampmann goes back to down the ladder and that’s not a place he wants to visit again.

“First I’ve got to beat up Thiago Alves.”

Follow @DamonMartin on Twitter or e-mail Damon Martin.
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