Martin Kampmann holds an 11-5 mark in the UFC. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Martin Kampmann knows Carlos Condit better than most, but in this case, familiarity has not bred contempt.
Kampmann will try to become the first man to defeat Condit twice when the two world-ranked welterweights collide in the UFC Fight Night 27 main event on Wednesday at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. “The Hitman” spoiled Condit’s Ultimate Fighting Championship debut a little more than four years ago, as he eked out a split decision over the former World Extreme Cagefighting champion at UFC Fight Night 18 in April 2009.
Now, they meet again.
“I expect a war,” Kampmann told Sherdog.com in an exclusive interview. “I’m preparing for five rounds of tough action. Condit always brings it. He tries to go in there and finish his opponents, and that’s what I do, too. It’s going to be a hell of a fight. It’s going to be action-packed.”
Condit rattled off five consecutive victories following his encounter with Kampmann. However, the 29-year-old Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts export will enter the cage on a two-fight skid, having dropped back-to-back decisions to reigning welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre and top contender Johny Hendricks. St. Pierre and Hendricks combined for 19 takedowns in those two matchups, largely neutralizing Condit’s potent offensive skills.
“He’s a very complete fighter,” Kampmann said. “He’s very dangerous standing up. He’ll throw unorthodox stuff that can catch people off-guard. He’s got a really dangerous guard, dangerous jiu-jitsu. People are kind of dogging his wrestling, but he just fought two of the best wrestlers in the division. I definitely don’t think his wrestling is as bad as people say it is.”
Mutual respect exists between the two seasoned welterweights, according to Kampmann.
“He’s an all-around, great, tough fighter,” he said. “He’s a tough guy to fight, but I’ll find a way to beat him. I like him, and I think he’s a cool guy. I think he has the same feeling towards me, but that’s not going to prevent us from trying to kick each other’s ass. I’m going in there to knock his head off.”
Kampmann has been a UFC staple at 170 pounds since 2008. The 31-year-old Dane has delivered three wins in his past four appearances, with victories over Brave Legion’s Rick Story, American Top Team’s Thiago Alves and Reign MMA’s Jake Ellenberger. However, Kampmann has not competed since November, when his unfortunate run-in with a left hook from Hendricks resulted in a 46-second knockout at UFC 154. He has spent his time since training at various camps in Las Vegas, including Syndicate MMA and Xtreme Couture.
“I moved across the world to get the best possible training I could get,” Kampmann said. “That’s the benefit of being in Vegas. There are so many great gyms to train at. I’ve already made some changes that are going to bring some new things to the table. You’re going to see a different fighter.”
Adjusting to New Realities
“It’s changed dramatically,” he said in a pre-fight interview with RM Sports. “I’m not working anymore. My work is now what I intended it to be. I’m training full-time now, and I’m enjoying it.”
Gastelum will return to the Octagon for the first time since his split decision over Hall at “The Ultimate Fighter 17” Finale in April, as he locks horns with Brian Melancon at UFC Fight Night 27. A replacement for the injured Paulo Thiago, the 31-year-old Melancon made his promotional debut at UFC 162 in July, when he delivered a violent first-round knockout against Seth Baczynski.
“He’s a scrappy guy,” Gastelum said. “He reminds me a lot of me. He’s just a well-rounded fighter.”
Still only 21, Gastelum plans to keep his unbeaten record intact.
“I want to stand out,” he said. “I want to be the best that I can be. My goal every time, every fight, is to impress the fans, to impress [UFC President] Dana [White] and to impress [UFC matchmaker] Joe [Silva], to let them know I’m here for real and I’m looking to move forward in the ranks.”
This & That
UFC Fight Night 27 will go down as the 244th event in Ultimate Fighting Championship history but just the second -- UFC 119 was the first -- to be held in the state of Indiana ... the Bankers Life Fieldhouse, which is home to the NBA’s Indiana Pacers and the WNBA’s Indiana Fever, opened on Nov. 6, 1999, at a cost of $183 million ... A former national muay Thai champion, Donald Cerrone has secured 13 of his 20 career victories by submission, six of them by triangle choke ... Nine of the 24 fighters booked to compete at UFC Fight Night 27 have appeared on “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series: Gastelum, Robert Whittaker, Court McGee, Brad Tavares, Bubba McDaniel, Dylan Andrews, Justin Edwards, Ben Alloway and Zak Cummings ... By the time former Shooto and Sengoku champion Hatsu Hioki returns home to Tokyo following his featherweight bout with Darren Elkins, he will have traveled nearly 13,000 miles ... Blackzilians representative Abel Trujillo was a four-time collegiate All-American wrestler at William Penn University, an NAIA school in Oskaloosa, Iowa ... When Erik Perez was born on Nov. 19, 1989, Bad English’s “When I See You Smile,” Milli Vanilli’s “Blame it on the Rain,” The B-52s’ “Love Shack,” Paula Abdul’s “The Way That You Love Me” and Roxette’s “Listen to Your Heart” were the top five songs on Billboard’s Hot 100 list ... Oklahoma-based welterweight James Head holds a degree in Petroleum Engineering from the Missouri University of Science and Technology.