More than four years ago, Martin Kampmann primarily used his superior grappling prowess to nip former WEC champ Carlos Condit in his promotional debut at UFC Fight Night 18.
Kampmann and Condit may not have earned "Fight of the Night" bonuses that night in April 2009, nevertheless, the duo put on a memorable show that left fans yearning for more.
With both men having evolved since their first meeting, Kampmann and Condit will square off again in a main event, this time with a bit more on the line at UFC Fight Night 27 on Wednesday in Indianapolis.
Here are five reasons you can't miss Kampmann vs. Condit II.
All stats gathered via Fightmetric.com.
With Johny Hendricks and welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre set to lock horns, and no other clear-cut contenders pushing for a title shot, Condit and Kampmann essentially control their own destinies in this one.
Even though he's on a two-fight losing skid, if the second-ranked Condit can impressively best the sixth-ranked Kampmann, then the Jackson's MMA product could soon find himself in another welterweight title tilt.
In the same vein, Kampmann, who's won three of his last four, can bounce back from a KO loss to Hendricks in his last bout and get back in position to earn his first crack at UFC gold with a convincing win over Condit.
Regardless of who prevails, a dull decision victory for either Kampmann or Condit won't help either man land a title fight in the near future. Two fellow welterweight contenders, Rory MacDonald and Jake Ellenberger, essentially proved this theory when they fought to a painfully boring decision at UFC on Fox 8.
Kampmann and Condit are the brand of fighters that perform best when the pressure gets cranked up, and in this fight, the pressure's undoubtedly on.
Based on their performances in their fights after UFC Fight Night 18, Kampmann and Condit have each matured significantly since 2009.
Although they've each experienced more highs than lows since their first meeting, Kampmann and Condit unquestionably learned the most from their most recent fights, which were both losses to Hendricks.
Hendricks clipped the sturdy Kampmann with his patented left hand early in the first round at UFC 154 and instantly put "The Hitman" to sleep.
Condit averted major danger in his standup exchanges with Hendricks, outstriking "Bigg Rigg" 94-69 at UFC 158. But "The Natural Born Killer" surrendered 12 takedowns to the two-time NCAA Division I wrestling champ and dropped a unanimous decision for the second straight fight.
Because each fighter can turn to world-class coaches and training partners to refine their games, fans will surely see the best versions of Kampmann and Condit in their rematch.
The only time The Natural Born Killer dropped two straight fights in his career, he responded by reeling off eight straight wins—five by submission and three by knockout.
The last time Kampmann tasted defeat, he followed it up with successive wins over Rick Story (unanimous decision), Thiago Alves (guillotine choke) and Jake Ellenberger (TKO from knees).
Simply put, Condit and Kampmann represent two of the most intense competitors in the 170-pound division, especially when they're backed into corners.
Neither man can accept defeat, so Condit and Kampmann will indeed engage in a tooth-and-nail battle that will likely garner the men "Fight of the Night" bonuses.
Apparently, Condit took it easy in the final round of his first fight with Kampmann because he believed he had won the first two rounds and had the victory all but in the bag.
Condit's nonchalant approach in Round 3 cost him a victory in his UFC debut and snapped his eight-fight winning streak. In an episode of The MMA Hour this week, the Albuquerque native elaborated on the lessons he learned in his first bout with Kampmann.
In the first fight, going into that third round I felt like I had won the first two and that I could just cruise through the last round and get the decision, and that was a really hard lesson to learn. I lost my UFC debut [and] Martin put an end to my win streak, so that was definitely something that I've learned from. So anyway, that fight’s behind us, and I’m really, really looking forward to next Wednesday.
Condit secured three of four takedown attempts and landed 35 significant strikes to Kampmann's 26. The Natural Born Killer also passed Kampmann's guard four times and attempted three submissions.
However, Kampmann scored on each of his five shots and tried six submissions. The Hitman also passed Condit's guard three times and hit a pair of reversals.
Granted, Kampmann walked away with a split decision, but the win could have easily went to Condit, a point the former interim champ drove home on The MMA Hour by saying, "I definitely did more damage, and yeah, I won the fight, but I could see it was very, very close."
Condit and Kampmann aren't just fellow top-10 UFC welterweights and fellow Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belts who have strikingly similar goals, they're almost kindred spirits in the way they fight.
Both Condit and Kampmann possess venomous striking chops and lethal submission abilities, and both men are natural finishers. Of Condit's 28 wins, 13 came by submission and 13 came via knockout. Similarly, Kampmann has 20 wins, eight by KO and seven via submission.
Their nearly identical styles clashed in their first fight, causing a captivating brawl that consisted of plenty of scrambles, submission attempts and heavy standup exchanges.
If refined versions of the fighters show up in their rematch at UFC Fight Night 27, fans can expect a back-and-forth battle, and Condit and Kampmann can anticipate some post-fight bonuses.