If you were to ask me what it is that makes Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight Martin Kampmann such a good fighter, I'd have to give it some serious thought.
Unlike Jake Ellenberger, who Kampmann defeated last night (June 1, 2012) at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 15 Finale at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada, I wouldn't be able to say it's his one-punch knockout power. He does possess eight knockout wins in his career as a professional mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter, but I have a hard time saying that's a particular trademark of his (even though his nickname is "Hitman").
I also wouldn't say he's known for his ground game. That's taking nothing away from that aspect of his arsenal. He's got very solid jiu-jitsu skills and is the proud owner of seven submission victories. But that's not what epitomizes Kampmann as a fighter.
It's neither of those things and it's both of them, because when it comes right down to it, Kampmann's well-roundedness, his versatility and his toughness are the characteristics that will one day go on his MMA tombstone.
So what's next for Kampmann after another come-from-behind win against a top contender?
Kampmann is quite the enigma, in that his style, even though it makes for exciting fights, is just as useful for garnering himself a big comeback win as it is for getting himself knocked out.
It now appears the next stop for Kampmann is a fight between he and former training partner Johny Hendricks in a bout that could possibly determine the next contender to the welterweight title. Of course, all of that is contingent on things like the status of Nick Diaz, Carlos Condit's willingness to sit out and wait for Georges St. Pierre to come back from injury, and who Rory MacDonald is fighting next.
By the way, can we pause for a second and ask, "Who is Rory MacDonald fighting next?" It really seems like the UFC is trying to bring him along slowly after losing to Condit at UFC 115 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on June 12, 2010. But the kid has won three in a row, has looked phenomenal doing it, and I can't think of a better fight for him -- or Condit -- than a rematch between the two. It's maddening.
Regardless of what does and doesn't make sense, Kampmann looks to be fighting Hendricks. So how do they match up?
Hendricks has a lot in common with Kampmann. He doesn't have the same submission game, but he's another fighter who just comes out, guns blazing, and is really hard to put away. He's got serious knockout power, and he's also a very good wrestler.
I have to believe Kampmann vs. Hendricks is a potential "Fight of the Night" candidate. How could it not be? Love 'em or hate 'em, these are two super tough guys who bring it every time in the Octagon. It should be a fun fight, for sure.
In the meantime, can we stop and appreciate what's happened in the welterweight division? Do you still feel like "GSP" has cleaned out his weight class and needs to move up? I, for one, don't feel that way, and it's nice to see the way the division has been shaken up a bit.
How do you think Kampmann matches up with Hendricks? Are you satisfied with that match-up, or do you think the "Hitman" should be fighting someone else?