Martin Kampmann will be resuming his UFC career September 6th at UFC 88 against his toughest opponent to date in Nate Marquardt. Kampmann will be back in action just three months removed from his impressive win at UFC 85 over Jorge Rivera, after having to sit out 15 months due to injury prior to that fight.
Kampmann will not only look to test himself, but also his surgically repaired left knee against Marquardt. After posting wins in his first three UFC fights, Kampmann found himself on the sidelines, riding the rehab trail for over a year in 2007.
“It was a bad injury,” Kampmann told UFC.com. “I was very worried about it. I had it reconstructed and replaced and it was some serious [expletive]. There was so much doubt in my mind. I had plenty of bad days and days where I felt like [expletive], but I just had to hang in there.”
The knee is never going to be 100%, but Kampmann has accepted that and forged ahead regardless. He has made up for the explosiveness that he lost from the knee injury by becoming a more well-rounded fighter.
“I’ll take the fight wherever I feel I have an advantage over my opponent,” explains Kampmann. “If they can be submitted, I’ll work hard to get into position and submit them. If they can be beaten in the stand-up, I’ll stand with them and beat them there. It all depends on who I’m fighting and what they are specialists at. I try to be an all-round fighter.”
He knows that he will need to be ready, as his opponent will be angry after having suffered a controversial loss against Thales Leites in his previous bout at UFC 85. Marquardt was deducted a penalty point on two separate occasions due to illegal strikes. On replay, only one of the strikes appeared to be illegal. Regardless of the deductions, Marquardt barely lost a split decision.
“If he (Marquardt) didn’t lose those points he would have won,” Kampmann states. “It was a really good fight. Nate did some illegal moves and I think it’s only right that he got penalized for it. Thales won and he deserved the victory according to the rules, but Nate probably proved he was the better fighter overall.”
Kampmann will need to be at his very best against Marquardt, and he knows it.
“He’s real tough, a good competitor and is very well-rounded,” Kampmann says about his opponent. “I’m having to prepare in all areas to be able to cope with wherever the fight goes. His strongest point is his ability to fight in all different areas. He’s very well-rounded and can do a bit of everything.
“He’s one of the best fighters in the UFC and I’m really looking forward to fighting him,” Kampmann continued. “I think he might have the advantage on the ground, but I think I’ll be stronger in the standup. I think Marquardt’s probably the toughest guy I’ve fought so far.”
It would be tough to deny the winner of this bout a title shot within the next year. However, Kampmann knows that he can’t afford to look beyond the here and now.
“I take one fight at a time,” claims Kampmann. “I don’t want to get into a (title shot) position and then everybody says I don’t deserve it. I’m happy to beat who I’ve got to beat to get my title shot. Jon Fitch deserved his title shot more than any other fighter when he fought GSP, and I want to have the same said about me when I get there. I’m willing to fight whoever the UFC wants me to fight before I get there.”