Martin Kampmann (19-5) has silently chipped away at a respectable record inside the elite 170-pound division but this Friday night’s main event clash with top-ranked contender Jake Ellenberger (27-5) at The Ultimate Fighter 15 Finale might be the most important of his career yet.
“The Hitman” has had two impressive performances in a row for entirely different reasons – First he took care of promising rising-star Rick Story shutting down his offence to win a convincing decision then he overcame a lot of adversity en route to a final frame submission win over for title-challenger Thiago Alves.
The speed, power and tree chopping leg kicks of the Brazilian will pester anyone at 170-pounds and it seemed like it would overwhelm the Dutchman who showed a world of heart to overcome the odds and force the guillotine choke in the final minute of action.
Now he gets another hard-hitting 170-pounder in Jake Ellenberger — The Reign Training Center product has only tasted defeat once in the octagon to interim champion Carlos Condit, rattling off six-straight victories since.
With a victory this Friday night at the Palms Casino Resort in Paradise, Nevada he will be killing three birds with one stone, not only will he be pushed to the top of the contenders list but he also beats a fighter who holds two wins over men who have beaten him in the octagon.
“Yeah, but he has losses to guys that I’ve won against. Styles make fights. He’s got a loss to condit, it was a close fight. I think he’s got a loss to Story outside of the UFC, so you know styles make fights,” He says “I’m sure he’s gotten better since those losses and so have I. It should make a good fight and it shouldn’t matter who he beat in the past. Right now this fight is between me and him.” he says.
The Nebraskan he meets in the eight-sided cage in a few days has stated that he doesn’t feel Kampmann is in his league, predicting that he will put him in a way in under two rounds.
“He’s going to be in for a surprise then. I think I have way more tools to beat him, than he has to beat me. I can win this fight in a lot of ways and I’m going to show you on Friday.” He told MMASucka.com
He continued “I feel I’m dangerous wherever the fight goes. I can hurt him standing up and I can submit you if you give me your neck or your arm or whatever. I have got a lot of ways I can finish the fight. I feel
confident in my wrestling as well. I just have to stay focused and fight my best, then I don’t think Ellenberger has got a chance.”
UFC figurehead Dana White has stated that the winner of this five-round affair will be at the front of the queue to challenge for a welterweight title, but the division is packed to the rafters with challengers creating a different level of unpredictability.
“We have a lot of really tough guys in the welterweight division. I think it’s one of the toughest weight classes. GSP he’s the guy on top and he’s the champ for a reason. There are a lot of young and hungry guys.”
With talented fighters like two-time NCAA Division I champ Johny Hendricks and Nick Diaz if/when he returns to the cage at the top of the ranks he still think he’s worthy of a title-shot if he notches his tenth octagon victory.
“I think I’m the number one contender. Just let me beat Jake Ellenberger first.” He stated.
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