Montreal - Resilient would be a good word to describe Martin Kampmann when considering his last two UFC fights.
At UFC on FX 2 he looked to be on his way to losing to Thiago Alves before capitalizing on an opening and cinching on a guillotine choke for the submission. In his next fight, Jake Ellenberger rocked Kampmann early, but Kampmann persevered and stopped Ellenberger in the second round with knees from the clench.
Kampmann knows these slow starts are not ideal and he will look to end that trend when he faces Johny Hendricks on Saturday night at UFC 154. “I think it’s a training mentality,” Kampmann said. “I gotta be better at coming in starting hard right off the bat in the sparing rounds in training, just going at it from the get-go there. I used to be a real fast starter, I got a lot of first-round stoppage wins and somehow along the way I became a slow starter.”
A glance at Kampmann’s record will show that he’s not stretching the truth. Of his 15 stoppages, 11 have come in the first round. Unfortunately for Kampmann, he’s also not lying when he says that he has become a slow starter, as he has only registered one first-round stoppage since 2008, a guillotine choke submission over Jacob Volkmann at UFC 108.
A deeper glance at Kampmann’s record will show that he is often the underdog in his fights. Of his last six bouts, he was the underdog in five fights. He went on to win four of those. Oddly, the only fight he was favored in, his UFC Live main event against Diego Sanchez, was a fight that he lost via a somewhat controversial unanimous decision.
Can Martin Kampmann beat the odds?
Addressing his underdog status, something he will also carry with him into Saturday’s fight, Kampmann said, “I don’t worry too much about the odds. In my mind, I’m always the favorite.”
One reason Kampmann will be the underdog going into UFC 154 will be the advantage Hendricks has in the wrestling department. Another reason may be the perception that if Hendricks is able to land one of his big left hands, it will be lights out for Kampmann.
Kampmann seems unconcerned about the powerful left of his opponent, “I can eat a good shot and I’ve proved that in a lot of my fights. Of course I’m not planning in getting hit, but it’s a fight and I’m sure I’m gonna get hit eventually, but I can eat a good shot, I’m not worried and I can give it right back.”
If Kampmann gives better than he gets on Saturday, he could walk away with a shot at the UFC welterweight crown, a fight he would be more than happy to take sooner rather than later. How much sooner you ask, how about the same night? “I’ll take it right after, I’ll stay in the cage and take him on right afterwards.”
Before that potential shot can occur, Kampmann will once again have to overcome the odds on his way to victory.
**all quotes obtained first hand by BRMMA