Although Martin Kampmann is focused on preparations for his own fight at UFC 154, he can’t help but wonder about the main event – and its fallout.
The fierce striker from Denmark wants a shot at the UFC Welterweight title, the fate of which will be decided in the showdown between Georges St-Pierre and Carlos Condit at the Nov. 17 event in Montreal.
Regardless of which combatant wins that main event, Kampmann is determined to be next in line to face him.
“Getting to the title is the dream I’ve worked hard every day to achieve,” says Kampmann, who boasts at 25-5 pro MMA record. “Another win should solidify me at the top of the Welterweight division and lead to a title shot.”
But in fighting, as in life, nothing is guaranteed.
For starters, to even be considered for a title shot, Kampmann will first have to achieve the daunting task of defeating Johny Hendricks, a wrestler of impeccable pedigree and a dangerous southpaw, in the co-main event.
“Johny’s a really good wrestler with heavy hands,” Kampmann tells Fighters.com over the phone from his training base in Las Vegas. “It’s going to be a hard-ass fight.”
Kampmann knows all-too-well the capabilities of his opponent, and vice versa. The two men have trained together in Vegas, and even taught each other some of their signature techniques.
Kampmann imparted some of his striking wisdom to Hendricks, in exchange for some of Hendricks’ wrestling expertise. It was a give-and-take relationship that Kampmann believes will make for some interesting dynamics during their showdown.
As for their friendship?
“Friendship won’t matter when we get in there,” Kampmann says. “I’m going in there to finish the other guy, and I’m sure Johny is too. My goal is winning the title, and beating Johny is one step closer to that goal.”
Or is it? The long-running assumption has been that the winner of the Kampmann-Hendricks bout would be deemed next in line for a shot at the Welterweight title, but things may have changed.
UFC President Dana White has publicly stated that he has “no idea” who will get the next crack at the title in the aftermath of UFC 154.
Fuelling the uncertainty is speculation that a long-awaited superfight against Anderson Silva will be next on St-Pierre’s agenda. Of course, that’s assuming St-Pierre can topple Condit on Nov. 17, which is far from a sure thing.
Which leaves Kampmann with little choice but to focus on the task at hand: beating his friend and former training partner Hendricks.
“I’ve been training my ass off, getting sharp for this fight,” says Kampmann. “I want to knock him out, submit him – anything it takes to win.”
The rumors about what might – or might not – happen after that, he says, “are all speculative.”