Although there wasn’t much fanfare behind the welterweight clash between Pualo Thiago and Martin Kampmann at UFC 115, company president Dana White hyped the scrap as a potential Fight of the Night. Despite being a significant underdog, Kampmann took full advantage of the opportunity and emerged as a legitimate contender in the division.
Some pundits believed that a win over a formidable opponent like Kampmann would allow the Brazilian to challenge for the 170-pound title in the near future. Instead, it was the Dane who proved he deserved to be mentioned among the division’s elite, as he pitched a complete shutout and left the Octagon with a convincing unanimous decision win.
Time and time again, Kampmann displayed his superior grappling game by putting Thiago in compromising positions. Furthermore, the Xtreme Couture trained fighter showed improved standup defense after getting stopped by Paul Daley at UFC 103.
Technically speaking, Kampmann is one of the best strikers in the welterweight division. However, he’s allowed himself to get into shootouts with the likes of Nate Marquardt and Daley which had resulted in disappointing loses.
This time around, Kampmann was patient on his feet and allowed his well-rounded game to shine by earning a 30-27 score on all three judges’ scorecards.
With the win, Kampmann immediately puts himself in the upper echelon of the UFC’s 170-pound fighters.