Apparently pulling off a Georges St-Pierre or Johny Hendricks-like game plan on Carlos Condit takes extraordinary wrestling chops and a never-ending gas tank.
Just when Condit started to find his groove in the takedown defense department, Martin Kampmann began to fade in his attempt to execute a high-paced wrestle-heavy game plan at UFC Fight Night 27 on Wednesday.
Kampmann got off to an uncharacteristically quick start against Condit in their main event bout, pushing the pace and scoring on four of five takedown attempts in the first round.
Condit, however, minimized damage from the bottom position, kept his composure and then unleashed his typical high-volume, unorthodox striking assault on "The Hitman."
The ploy paid major dividends for "The Natural Born Killer," who stuffed eight of Kampmann's 10 takedown attempts following the first round.
The turnaround began in Round 2 when Condit stymied Kampmann on each of his five takedown attempts. In the process, Condit outstruck Kampmann 37-19 in the round.
During the post-fight interview, Kampmann admitted that after the first round, he was essentially running on fumes.
I got the fast start I wanted. I got it off the bat, but I gassed myself out completely after the first round. I didn't feel I had nothing left. I just went into survival mode. I felt I was just dead tired after that first round. I could feel Carlos kept pushing a strong pace and I wanted to keep pushing, too, but I didn't have gas in the tank.
Condit shucked off two of Kampmann's three shots in the third round, and then poured it on by outstriking The Hitman 63-8.
The Natural Born Killer polished The Hitman off in the fourth by landing 15 significant strikes in the first minute of the round. Condit ultimately dropped Kampmann along the fence and landed a few vicious knees from the clinch to prompt referee Herb Dean to intervene just 54 seconds in.
Kampmann obviously tried to duplicate the blueprint produced by St-Pierre and Hendricks in their recent unanimous decision wins over Condit. Unfortunately for Kampmann, he didn't realize how tiring that brand of game plan can get, especially against an ultra-feisty opponent like Condit.
"The faster you start, the faster you're going to get tired, too, right?," Kampmann said. "I wanted to come out and start good. I felt good in the first round, [and] I got the takedowns I wanted. I didn't get the finish I wanted and I got tired, and I couldn't keep up with the pace he was going at. That's how he won."