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Carlos Condit vs. Martin Kampmann: Head-to-Toe Breakdown

James MacDonaldFeatured ColumnistJune 11, 2013

Carlos Condit vs. Martin Kampmann: Head-to-Toe Breakdown

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    Carlos Condit and Martin Kampmann will once again square off—in a rematch of their exceptional 2009 bout—when they clash in Indianapolis for the second UFC on Fox Sports 1 event.

    For those who witnessed their action-packed first scrap, this is cause for celebration. Rarely is either man involved in a dull fight—if you cite Condit vs. Diaz, I will seriously hurt you.

    This bout is intriguing for a number of reasons, particularly because the fighters are so evenly matched. Each boasts the kind of well-rounded skill set that should guarantee excitement wherever the fight takes place.

    With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at how this fight breaks down.

Striking

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    These fighters are well matched almost everywhere, especially on their feet.

    As Mike Goldberg often delights in reminding us—over and over—Martin Kampmann is a former Danish Thai boxing champion. As you would expect, he mixes his strikes up nicely and boasts an extremely technical stand-up game—his boxing, especially.

    Condit has a very traditional Muay Thai style, employing a high guard and a light lead leg. While less proficient with his hands than Kampmann, “The Natural Born Killer” makes up for it with a more diverse kicking game to go with his wicked knees and elbows.

    This is a tough one to call, but I’m giving the edge to Condit based on his greater variety.

     

    Edge: Carlos Condit

Wrestling

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    This is perhaps the easiest call I’ll make in the piece.

    Martin Kampmann has worked diligently to improve his wrestling over the years. The result being that he now possesses terrific takedown defense as well as a solid offensive wrestling game.

    In contrast, Carlos Condit hasn’t made any major strides in the wrestling department—and he would be the first to admit it. For a long time, he was able to make up for this deficiency with an extremely offensive guard.

    However, in his two most recent fights, this weakness has been thoroughly exposed by Georges St-Pierre and Johny Hendricks.

    Kampmann clearly gets the nod here.

     

    Edge: Martin Kampmann

Submissions

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    This is an interesting category to judge. Both are adept on the floor in quite distinct ways.

    For much of his career, Condit has relied on an offensive guard to make up for his near non-existent takedown defense, utilizing his long legs to secure armbars and triangles—not to mention his beautiful sweeps.

    However, Condit’s top game leaves something to be desired. He is offensive to the point of being reckless, often surrendering dominant positions far too easily. One could argue that he is a bit too content to be on bottom.

    Kampmann, on the other hand, has a more solid all-around ground game. While his guard isn’t nearly as potent as Condit’s, his positional sense is much more advanced. “The Hitman” has a very slick top game, striking a neat balance between position and submission.

    Based on his more well-rounded ground game, Kampmann gets the nod.

     

    Edge: Martin Kampmann

Experience

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    Both men turned pro at around the same time—Condit in late 2002 and Kampmann in early 2003. However, the former has been the slightly more active fighter.

    Indeed, in his 11 years as a professional, Carlos Condit has competed in 35 bouts, while the Dane has competed in 26.

    Granted, that’s not a huge difference, particularly when you factor in Kampmann’s seven years as a UFC employee. However, “The Hitman” doesn’t have the championship experience of Condit, who has held both the WEC welterweight title and the UFC’s interim-welterweight title.

    This certainly matters in a five round fight.

    Condit’s greater experience in five round contests edges this one, particularly with the fight being UFC on Fox Sports 1  No. 2’s main event.

     

    Edge: Carlos Condit

Intangibles

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    While it’s hard to separate these two on paper, there is no doubt that Carlos Condit is the more creative fighter.

    Whereas Kampmann relies on his superior technique, Condit profits from his unpredictability. Whether it’s a flying knee, a head kick or a sweep, the former 170-pound interim-champ rarely relies on the mundane.

    This style occasionally comes at a cost, with Condit often finding himself in bad positions when his techniques don’t quite come off. But, overall, his ability to pull off the spectacular is one of his major assets.

     

    Edge: Carlos Condit

Prediction

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    In the first fight, Kampmann’s superior wrestling turned out to be the difference in the judges' eyes—albeit in a close fight.

    This time around, I’m not convinced that the Dane’s grappling will be the difference-maker. Rather, I expect the rematch to be largely contested on the feet, with the occasional scramble and ground exchange.

    In a five round fight, I anticipate Condit’s gas tank being key to his success. While Kampmann is no Ben Rothwell in that department, he is likely to slow down in the championship rounds when forced to deal with Condit’s relentless pace.

    In addition to his superior conditioning, the Albuquerque native’s more diverse striking game should see him through to a decision in a tight, compelling contest.

     

    Prediction: Carlos Condit by Unanimous Decision

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