You didn't expect that one, did you?
I'll come clean: obviously, the return of Georges St-Pierre against Carlos Condit for the UFC welterweight title is the one fight I would have to pick if somebody forced me to only watch one.
I guess that makes it the "can't-miss" fight, huh?
Still, that's boring, and you've surely read enough about that matchup, so let us turn to a different fight that also boasts some high stakes.
Just before GSP returns to the Octagon, welterweight contenders Martin Kampmann and Johny Hendricks will square off in what promises to be an interesting matchup of styles, and the victor will potentially earn the next crack at GSP's (or Condit's) championship belt.
This fight is going to be awesome, folks. The last time I predicted the best fight on a card, I whiffed hard, but I'm pretty confident in saying Kampmann and Hendricks will deliver.
Hendricks is an excellent wrestler with one of the welterweight division's most explosive weapons: his left hand. When Hendricks connects, foes fall, and seven of his 13 wins have come via knockout thanks to this tool. In addition, Hendricks has only been beaten once in his career—a decision loss to Rick Story in December 2010.
Kampmann, meanwhile does everything well. He is the embodiment of a well-rounded fighter, and his record inside the UFC is sensational. He is 11-4 inside the world's premiere mixed martial arts promotion, with four wins and one loss coming in the middleweight division.
Since dropping to his new home at 170 lbs., Kampmann is 7-3, with two of the losses coming via controversial (very controversial) decision.
He has stopped Thiago Alves and Jake Ellenberger in his most recent outings, whereas Hendricks has defeated Jon Fitch and Josh Koscheck in his two most recent fights.
Both resumes are impressive, and this matchup is the culmination of years of hard work from each fighter. Each man has gotten better with each Octagon appearance, and, even if this fight were not for a potential title, it is still a fantastic fight between two awesome combatants.
Hendricks is very much like Jake Ellenberger in my eyes. Both guys are strong welterweights with incredible wrestling bases, and both guys have one-shot knockout power. Against Ellenberger, Kampmann struggled early before Ellenberger tired and gave him the opportunity to pounce.
The TKO finish in that performance was sensational, don't get me wrong, but I think Ellenberger tired himself out in the first round looking for the finish.
Hendricks, meanwhile won a controversial split-decision over Josh Koscheck in his most recent outing—a fight which I personally thought he lost. To be fair, neither guy looked particularly outstanding in the fight, and I think each fighter was a little tentative due to the other's power.
Kampmann has shown sound, technical striking in his fights, but he hasn't shown the one-shot knock-'em-out power that Hendricks has, so one would think Hendricks will open up a bit more in this fight.
If Hendricks decides to take Kampmann to the ground (which I think he can), he will be in a world of trouble. Kampmann's ground game and killer instinct are severely underrated, and Hendricks will constantly have to fight off submission attempts if he wants to grind out a decision or look to improve his position on the mat.
This fight is awesome because of all this. Kampmann is solid everywhere, and Hendricks has the ability to change a fight with one punch or drag the fight to the mat to give fans another dimension of the game to look forward to.
Wherever the fight goes and however it is contested, I do not see how it as boring. Both guys know the biggest opportunity of their lives lies ahead with a big win, and both have the tools to make it happen.
Whose hammer will swing with more ferocity Saturday night?
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