Carlos Condit and Martin Kampmann first met over four years ago in April 2009 at a UFC Fight Night. That evening, Kampmann took a hotly contested split-decision victory over the debuting Condit in what was one of the year’s most exciting scraps.
Almost as soon as their first match concluded, demands of a rematch rang throughout the MMA universe.
It took longer than most anticipated, but on Wednesday inside the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, MMA fans finally witnessed Condit vs. Kampmann 2 in the night’s main event of UFC Fight Night 27.
The opening frame saw Kampmann immediately earn a successful bodylock, trip takedown. This approach may have come as a surprise for some, as Kampmann is predominantly a striking-based fighter, but this game plan is also what eked out the win for the Dane in their first showdown, so it seemed only logical he would try and employ that strategy once again.
Over the course of that first round, Kampmann earned a total of three successful takedowns, and handily won the frame with his wrestling and effective ground and pound.
Round two saw a shift in momentum of sorts, as Condit came out with a sprawl-heavy approach in mind. Anytime “The Hitman” looked for the takedown, Condit was ready to defend. The Team Jackson product began popping his jab in this round and finding his range, while growing visibly confident in the way the fight was heading.
However, Kampmann, who has made a career of displaying otherworldly toughness and grit, was not about to let Condit shift the fight that easily, and he battled back with brawling combo punching and some pressure of his own.
The action was about as back-and-forth as you can get in what was one of the truly more entertaining rounds of 2013.
By the third round, momentum was leaning heavily towards Condit. “The Natural Born Killer” began unleashing his full repertoire of Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn honed striking.
Nothing was off limits for Condit, as he ripped off spinning back kicks and elbows, wheel kicks, and everything else under the sun.
Kampmann briefly landed a textbook high-crotch lift takedown in the opening minute of the third, but Condit was back up on his feet in no time, and quickly returned to peppering the Xtreme Couture product with punches, knees, and kicks.
Midway through the third, Condit rushed in with a stellar multi-punch combination that left Kampmann with a gash on his face. After that, the vision of what many predicted Condit vs. Kampmann 2 to be came to fruition.
By the end of the third round Kampmann was so bloody it wouldn’t have been a shock if they hired a cleaning crew to come in and power wash the Octagon mat before the start of the next round.
The fourth round was also the fight’s final round, as just 54 seconds into the frame, Condit unleashed a vicious flurry of combination punches that sent Kampmann reeling with his back against the cage, covering up.
Smelling blood, both literally and figuratively, Condit rushed in and snatched up his opponent with his signature Thai clinch and began to unload a series of Muay Thai knees that sent Kampmann crumpling to the mat in a heap and had referee Herb Dean running in to halt the action.
Post-fight, an elated, and still eerily focused Carlos Condit took to the microphone to sing the praises of his well-tested foe.
“Martin is a really well rounded fighter. He can take the fight wherever he wants,” said Condit when asked about his adjustments after the first round, a round in which Kampmann won.
“So we saw that he was going to come out and try and take me down — you know make it a grappling match — we tried to avoid that, and I was able to pick him apart with the strikes.”
The humble 29-year-old former UFC interim welterweight champion deflected any praise coming his way and gave all credit to his supporting cast from Albuquerque.
“I come from a great camp. I couldn’t do this without my training partners and my coaches. All of the respect — all this — this victory is a team effort,” he stated.
After suffering back-to-back losses to welterweight powerhouses Georges St-Pierre and Johny Hendricks, Condit now finds himself on the winning end of things once again. With plenty of intriguing matches to be had in the stacked welterweight division, Condit welcomes all comers with a smile… as long as the fights are interesting, of course.
“There are a lot of intriguing matches in the division,” he said. “Of course I’d like to get that title shot back; possibly Johny Hendricks or Georges St-Pierre, whichever one wins. There are a couple other fights out there that are very interesting also, so we’ll see what happens.”
He’s not wrong. There are plenty of intriguing matches to be made in the welterweight division for “The Natural Born Killer.” However, we can’t be the only ones thinking that a trilogy with Kampmann may be on the menu, especially considering how great their first two fights have been.
But promise us one thing, UFC, if you do make this a trilogy, don’t make us wait another four years to see these two fighters battle it out in your Octagon.
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