Carlos Condit and Martin Kampmann step into the octagon tonight in Indiana at UFC Fight Night 27: Condit Vs Kampmann II, and while a few analysts and fans think the result of their first match was the correct one, I am not one of those people. In the first fight, round 2 clearly went to Condit and the third round went to Kampmann. In the first, Kampmann was able to secure a takedown almost right away and threaten with a guillotine choke, but Condit defended it perfectly. Kampmann and Condit scrambled on the ground, and Kampmann ended up on top for a moment and then he attempted a foot lock that Condit reversed and ended up on top. Kampmann scrambled to his feet and ate a huge knee that cut him open and a viscous body kick that backed him up. After a transition, Kampmann ended up on top and secured a guillotine choke as the round ended. While Kampmann attempted to finish the fight, on my scorecard the round went to Condit for the damage and effective striking.
It has been four years since the two fought, and if I had to pick who has evolved more it would be Condit. Condit is coming off of two losses going into the rematch while Kampmann is coming off of one, but while they both lost to number one contender Johny Hendricks, Condit’s other loss was to the current welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre. The thing that sticks out the most when looking through their records is that Kampmann hasn’t fought since November of last year and that fight only went 46 seconds before he was brutally knocked out.
The wild card in this fight is that the bout is 5 rounds. While Condit has been into the championship rounds with two of the toughest guys in the sport, GSP and Nick Diaz, Kampmann has never been in a five round bout. Since many consider Kampmann to be a slow starter, this might be an advantage for him, but there is no way to tell if he is going to wilt in the fourth and fifth until we see him in those rounds. Condit, on the other hand, has proven his mettle in later rounds.
I think Kampmann will be able to secure some takedowns in the earlier rounds, however I think the stand up edge goes to Condit. Condit’s striking covers a lot of distance and he seems to be able to reach out and touch fighters from unsuspecting distances. The ground he covers when he steps in to throw kicks and right hands surprises many fighters, and since he already has the reach advantage, the striking edge goes to him. When Kampmann figures out that Condit will defend all of his submission attempts, that is where this fight is going to take place. In the later rounds, only expect a takedown if one of them is trying to secure a round in the last minute.
I expect Condit to come on in the later rounds, and while Kampmann won’t be as much of a slow starter as people thinks he will be, it will be his undoing as he won’t be able to preserve that energy for late in the fight. Condit will land a strike that disorients Kampmann early in the fourth round, and Condit will put him away with strikes from half guard.
Front-Page Photo Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports