Carlos Condit vs. Martin Kampmann II: Head-to-Toe Breakdown
After declaring his intentions to wait until an ailing Georges St-Pierre returns to action before he takes another bout, current interim UFC Welterweight champion Carlos Condit is clearly not interested in defending his belt—but the fans are.
With the welterweight division clogged up with contenders, fans have been clamoring for Condit to defend his title before St-Pierre's return, and what better challenger than the last man to defeat "The Natural Born Killer": Martin Kampmann.
Having faced each other once before at Ultimate Fight Night 18, Kampmann took a split-decision that was so close, FightMetric ruled it a draw.
While this fight may not come to fruition, let's take a look at the head-to-toe breakdown of this fantasy rematch.
An avid kickboxer, Martin Kampmann is a technical striker with knockout power, having finished seven of his opponents via KO. But if his last fight against Thiago Alves is any indication, "The Hitman" has had trouble facing heavy-handed strikers.
Since their last bout, Condit has improved dramatically as a striker and has shown that he can pick his opponents apart as well as provide a stunning finish. In his title-winning bout against Nick Diaz, Condit dismantled the former Strikeforce champion with a perfect in and out game plan that left Diaz swinging at air.
Both fighters are great strikers, but Condit's history of putting away more opponents, as well as Kampmann's penchant for getting knocked out, gives him the edge.
Both fighters are pretty evenly matched on the ground.
Condit's work under Greg Jackson has transformed the champion into a solid grappler, especially with all the great training partners at his disposal out there in Albuquerque, NM.
The same is true for Kampmann, who's a BJJ brown belt under the famed Robert Drysdale and trains at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas.
In terms of submission skills, again, both fighters are basically evenly matched.
Condit has 13 submission victories out of 28 total wins while seven out of Kampmann's 19 wins have come via tapout.
Where the two differ is in submission defense. In the past, Condit has shown a weakness in this area, nearly getting tapped out by Nick Diaz in the waning minutes of their UFC 143 bout, as well as having three of his five losses coming via submission.
Because of this, Kampmann takes a slight edge.
In terms of size and strength, both fighters share a similar build and body type, making them evenly matched in this department.
As the current interim champ and the former WEC champ, Condit is no stranger to going into the championship rounds. In fact, Condit has gone to the third round or later nine times in his career, rarely showing signs of fatigue.
Kampmann has great cardio as well, having gone to the third round seven times, but has yet to have a championship bout.
Due to this lack of experience in five-round fights, Kampmann has a slight disadvantage in this area.
Condit: If this fight were to happen, Condit would have a major experience factor over Kampmann this time around. While both men have faced high-level competition since their first bout, Condit has taken on and defeated most of the current top welterweights.
If he can continue to use his improved striking skills to pressure Kampmann, he should easily be able to take this fight.
Kampmann: While the stand-up game is usually Kampmann's strong suit, against a guy like Condit, his best bet is to take the fight to the ground.
Possessing an underrated grappling game, Kampmann has improved drastically in this department since their first fight and has shown to be a dangerous submission artist. With Condit's slight weakness to submissions, this is Kampmann's best route to a win.
Surprisingly, both fighters are pretty evenly matched in each area of the game.
Kampmann has a slight edge in submissions while Condit has proven to be the better striker. In a rematch of these two dangerous welterweights, expect a similar back-and-forth affair.
The only difference between a future bout and their first fight will be Condit's growth into a true, championship-caliber fighter. His intense drive and great game-planning will make all the difference.
Prediction: Condit via technical knockout (third round).