Wednesday, April 01, 2009

UFC Fight Night In-Depth: Kampmann vs. Condit

Originally posted on

Former World Extreme Cagefighting champion Carlos Condit makes his dive into the deep end of the UFC welterweight pool Wednesday when he takes on newly minted welterweight Martin Kampmann at UFC Fight Night 18 in Nashville, Tenn.

Condit will try to prove that he belongs with the elite division, settling the what-if questions of fans who've seen him dominate in his former home as its parent organization looms in the background. It's a riskier fight for Kampmann, who could instantly legitimize himself as a welterweight with a win over Condit, or slide further down the 170-pound ladder.

The fight promises fireworks, with both fighters favoring the stand-up game. But don't be surprised if the action goes down and stays there – the stakes of a win are too high to risk quick defeat.


Kampmann comes from a European kickboxing and Muay Thai background, and consequently, has a very traditional, upright stance. On the feet, he’s the type of fighter that creeps in and waits for a mistake, waiting for an opportunity to return fire. His approach is often in a straight line, though he makes up for his exposure to punches with good head movement. Still, fighters that move laterally tend to give him more trouble. To counter, he often relies on his legs to do damage, firing off a high kick when opponents move. But it's a push of momentum: an opponent needs to move straight back to fall prey. Because he closes the distance so quickly, the clinch is a frequent position he finds himself in. Whether defending a shot or simply running out of space, he utilizes it to set up takedowns with double underhooks, or work knees to the midsection.

Condit approaches the stand-up game in much the same way, though his posture and movement more closely resemble a traditional Muay Thai fighter. Like Kampmann, Condit patiently wades in, waiting for an opportunity to return fire when attacked. His legs are the difference in his striking; they are the cornerstone of his offensive game. Whether it’s a kick targeted at the leg, stomach, or flank, Condit keeps opponents at range with the strikes and baits them into striking exchanges. More importantly, they often set up his offensive work from a plumb, where his sharp knees do much damage. Lately, his boxing technique has grown by leaps and bounds; in his last fight against Hiromitsu Miura, his shoulder rolls and feints, as well as improved footwork, were on display.

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