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Back in Business: exclusive interview with Martin 'Hitman' Kampmann

martin kampann
Martin "Hitman" Kampmann’s record in the UFC is a solid (3-0) with wins over Crafton Wallace, Thales Leites and Drew McFedries.

His winning performances in the middleweight division earned him a shot against Rich Franklin back at UFC 72: "Victory" in June 2007. The fight was supposed to determine the number one contender to face UFC Middleweight Champion, Anderson Silva.

Kampmann, however, was forced to withdraw from the fight after tearing and messing up pretty much every cruciate ligament in his left knee while training for "ace."

"Hitman" hasn’t seen the inside of the Octagon since that time.

He had surgery to repair that damage and the Denmark native then moved to Las Vegas to train with Xtreme Couture to get his career back on the rails.

Kampmann last competed against Drew McFedries at UFC 68: "The Uprising" in March 2007. And if anyone remembers that fight, they remember that the 26-year-old Dane has a chin of granite, coupled with the ability to persevere and finish a tough fight.

June 7 in London, England, will mark the return of Kampmann at UFC 85: "Bedlam," with a big test against the venerable veteran, Jorge Rivera. "El Conquistador" is coming off a big knockout win over Kendall Grove and is looking to cement his future with the organization.

I caught up with Martin and he took some time out of training to briefly chat with Here’s our discussion:

Sean McManus ( Thanks for taking the time out of your training to speak to us here at, Martin. June 7th is just around the corner and it marks your return to the Octagon in more than a year, how are you feeling?

Martin Kampmann: I feel great, I'm training hard and getting in shape so I can kick Jorge’s butt.

Sean McManus ( You sustained a pretty bad knee injury before your scheduled bout with Rich Franklin at UFC 72. How has it healed up ... is it back to 100 percent at this time?

Martin Kampmann: It's much better. It took a while and it's been tough sitting out for so long but it feels great to be back training hard.

Sean McManus ( Obviously before the injury you were ripping up the middleweight division with an undefeated record (UFC) against top guys and you were a legitimate contender. Now you’re back with a tough fight against a seasoned veteran in Jorge Rivera. He’s a tough striker and has a ton of experience, what are your thoughts on this fight?

Martin Kampmann: Jorge is definitely a tough guy. I think he's been kind of inconsistent in the UFC. Sometimes he looks great and other times not so great. I'm preparing for the worst though. I think its’ gonna be a great fight, we'll both be going for the finish. Don't blink.

Sean McManus ( The last time we saw you in the Octagon was against Drew McFedries at UFC 68. It was a great fight and that arm triangle was an impressive finish. But my question is, how hard does Drew really hit? I remember the fight very well and he was landing some bombs, my hat goes off to you and your chin.

Martin Kampmann: Thanks, he throws hard for sure. He had me rocked for a second. That's when I decided to go for plan B.

Sean McManus ( Plan B seemed like a good call. How confident are you right now?

Martin Kampmann: I'm very confident in my ability. I'm going into this fight to win.

Sean McManus ( Are you worried at all about shaking off some "ring rust?"

Martin Kampmann: I spar hard at Xtreme Couture gym everyday. I have tough sparring partners and I'll be ready.

Sean McManus ( Having to sit out for so long must have been tough. What were you up to over that period of time?

Martin Kampmann: Just chilling back home. Rehabbing my knee and looking forward to getting back into training.

Sean McManus ( In your down time did you keep track of the UFC or more importantly the middleweight division?

Martin Kampmann: Yes, for sure. Even though I'm a fighter and an athlete, I'm also a fan. I don't miss a UFC event. Every time I watch it I wanna fight, that kinda sucks when you are sitting out and can't even train.

Sean McManus ( Without looking past a tough fight that you have at UFC 85, where do you see yourself in the mix of the 185-pound division?

Martin Kampmann: I think people have kind of forgotten me during my lay off. So I just want to build myself back up and win all my fights.

Sean McManus ( There may be a few newer fans since then, but I highly doubt anyone was able to forget you. Since your absence, Anderson Silva has been dominating the division, how do you feel you match up with him?

Martin Kampmann: He's the man right now. He's badass. That's obviously a tough fight, but I believe anybody can be beat.

Sean McManus ( You are at Xtreme in Las Vegas full time now. What is it like training with a ton of top UFC talent? Has it taken your game to another level?

Martin Kampmann: Yeah, it's great training here! We have a lot of top guys and it's definitely helped me improve my game. I learn new stuff all the time.

Sean McManus ( Working with the master of game plans in Randy Couture is always of great benefit, has he coached you to a specific game plan for Rivera?

Martin Kampmann: It’s always a pleasure training with Randy. He's a great coach and training partner as well. I'll have something ready for Jorge.

Sean McManus ( Is there anyone you’d like to thank up to this point?

Martin Kampmann: Thanks to all the guys who have helped me get my knee back in shape. Surgeons back home, doctors like Randy Yee and my physiotherapist, Sean Early. Thanks to all my training partners and everybody at the gym.

Sean McManus ( Best of luck with the rest of your training camp and we wish you the all the best in your return to the Octagon.

Martin Kampmann: Thanks a lot!

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