Two of Ultimate Fighting Championship's (UFC's) top-ranked welterweights are set to collide in the co-main event of UFC 154: "St. Pierre vs. Condit" this Saturday night (Nov. 17, 2012) in Montreal as Martin Kampmann and Johny Hendricks are set for a meeting that could determine the next number one contender at 170 pounds.
Both men enter the fight on impressive win-streaks as Kampmann has reeled off three-straight against Rick Story, Thiago Alves and Jake Ellenberger, while Hendricks has put together four wins in a row against T.J. Waldburger, Mike Pierce, Jon Fitch and Josh Koscheck.
It is possible the winner will face off against the fighter who comes out of the night's main event between Georges St. Pierre vs. Carlos Condit. The stakes are extremely high for Kampmann vs. Hendricks and despite being former training partners, Kampmann tells MMA Fight Corner he has the mindset of a killer and is going to Montreal to finish Hendricks at all costs.
"I'm still going to go in there for the kill, try to finish it, I'm sure he's going to do the same to me. I know this opponent way better than a lot of other opponents I've had, so I feel confident going into the fight. I know his wrestling's good, I know his power's good, I've trained with him before. It's easy to train for, that's a good thing. It's easier to train for cause you know a lot of the strong points, but at the same time you can change a lot in a couple years. I'd love to knock out Johny, but if he gives me a chance to sneak in a submission, I'll be happy to take that too. The bottom line is I want to finish the fight. I don't want to go to the judges' decision, I want to finish the fight, knocking him out or getting the submission, either way I'll be a happy man."
While the UFC has not made anything official, the winner of Kampmann vs. Hendricks is, unless leapfrogged by Nick Diaz when he returns from suspension, likely to be named the No. 1 contender in the UFC welterweight division.
Unfortunately, there is no telling when that shot may come until the night's main event between St. Pierre vs. Condit comes to a conclusion.
For Kampmann, he already holds a split decision win over "The Natural Born Killer" dating back to April 2009. With that in mind, 'The Hitman' knows his confidence would be high going into a rematch with Condit, but ultimately he would prefer to face St. Pierre and attempt to become the man to knock the sports biggest pay-per-view star off his throne.
"For me it'd be better with Carlos winning, especially because I got a win on him. I know he wants the rematch. But at the same time, I'd like to fight GSP. He's the all-time best welterweight, so that's the guy I'd like to beat."
If GSP wins, he may fight Anderson Silva before defending his welterweight title again, which would be tough luck for Kampmann or Hendricks as the division would be in limbo and they would probably have to defeat another contender before fighting for the title.
However, if the challenger defeats the champion, there's a good chance he faces the winner of Kampmann vs. Hendricks in the near future, as UFC President Dana White was recently quoted saying if Condit upsets at UFC 154, he will meet the division's top contender next.
Nevertheless, Hendricks vs. Kampmann is an intriguing bout for the UFC welterweight division and, title or no title, the winner has nothing but big fights lined up for their immediate future.