Friday, September 18, 2009

UFC 103 Preview: The Main Card (Kampmann)

Originally posted on

The Breakdown:
Originally a high-stakes No. 1-contender match, Kampmann’s scheduled opponent, Mike Swick, was a late scratch thanks to a training camp injury. In Swick’s stead is brutal British kickboxer Paul Daley. A new face in the mutant shark tank that is the welterweight division, Daley is one of the best strikers in the game today, but his takedown defense and subpar jiu-jitsu have kept him from fulfilling his obvious potential. While Kampmann is known for his kickboxing base, he has developed excellent takedown skills inside the Greco-Roman clinch and his jiu-jitsu is surprisingly fluid.

What should worry Kampmann is his chin, which made his time as a middleweight extremely difficult and could haunt him again if he allows this fight to turn into a pure kickboxing match. Unfortunately for Daley, Kampmann is a savvy fighter who knows when to switch gears. Kampmann’s reach advantage over Daley will also allow him to use the jab to keep Daley from charging in. That tactic was used to great effect by Nick Thompson in his bout with Daley, and as long as Kampmann follows suit, Daley will have tapped out long before he gets a chance to score the knockout.

The X Factor: An underrated aspect of Daley’s game is his skill inside the Thai clinch. It could pose a problem for Kampmann, who uses the clinch to set up his takedowns. Any takedowns Kampmann goes for will have to be executed swiftly, and if he plans on keeping Daley down, he needs to avoid the cage or risk Daley cage walking his way out of trouble. Treading carefully will be key for Kampmann in this bout, as the slightest mistake could give Daley all the opportunity he needs to send him on a one-way trip to the canvas.

The Bottom Line: Daley will make for an interesting addition to the UFC, but he won’t crack the upper echelon of contenders and it will show against Kampmann. The difference in wrestling ability will simply be too much for Daley to overcome, and Kampmann’s own kickboxing background should be enough to keep him out of harm’s way. Expect Daley to have his moments on the feet. They will be quickly snatched away, though, as Kampmann hits takedown after takedown and wears down the British sparkplug en route to a second-round submission win via the arm-triangle choke.


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