UFC 88: Hit or Miss for "The Hitman"?

Derek BolenderSenior Analyst IAugust 31, 2008

With each passing event the UFC middleweight division seems to be getting more and more complicated.  There are two questions that seem to be constantly floating around:

  • ·              Who will be the next guy to get a title shot against             middleweight champion Anderson Silva?
  • ·              Who actually has a realistic chance of knocking off Silva?

The current #1 contender is Patrick Cote with Yushin Okami and Michael Bisping standing right in line behind him.

Dan Henderson is also in the mix for a rematch with Silva if he is successful in the near future.  Even submission specialists Rousimar Palhares and Demian Maia have slowly begun to garner some attention due to their recent performances.

The one guy that seems to get lost in the shuffle for whatever reason is Martin "The Hitman" Kampmann.

Kampmann could very well be the wild card in this division and emerge as a formidable #1 contender sooner rather than later.  He might also have a realistic shot at knocking off Silva, but I will not get ahead of myself at this point. 

UFC 88 on September 6, 2008 will be the biggest night of Kampmann's young career and an opportunity for him to show his true worth to the fans and media.

Most importantly he'll get to prove himself against a top tier opponent on the main card right under the watchful eye of UFC matchmaker extraordinaire Joe Silva. 

Nate "The Great" Marquardt will be that top tier opponent.  He has thirty six professional MMA fights under his belt and twenty six victories.  He has challenged Anderson Silva in a losing effort back at UFC 73.

Kampmann has been preparing for a fight like this since he began training in Europeat Shooters MMA full time back in 2000.

He accumulated a 3 - 1 amateur record and then made the decision to turn pro in 2003.  He then won nine of his first ten professional fights with his only loss coming by way of a stoppage due to a cut he sustained against Andrei Semenov.

In 2006, Kampmann flew to the United States to train with his friend Mike Pyle at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas.  Little did he know that this seemingly low key trip to see his friend Pyle would set forth a series of events that would fast track his career.



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