If Martin Kampmann gets by Johny Hendricks at UFC 154 on Nov. 17, he believes he’ll deserve a shot at the UFC welterweight title. Certainly he’ll have a good case for getting the opportunity.
“If I win this fight, I am the No. 1 contender,” Kampmann told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “No doubt. Nobody’s got the same resume I do in the UFC in the welterweight division. I’ve beaten the best guys. There’s no other welterweight that’s coming on the same streak that I have.”
Kampmann has won three straight since dropping controversial decisions to Jake Shields and Diego Sanchez. This year he has finished both Thiago Alves and Jake Ellenberger.
“There’s other guys coming up with a bunch of hype behind them, but really who have they fought? They haven’t fought anybody tough,” Kampmann said. “They haven’t fought anybody good, but they’re getting the hype train behind them. Look at the guys I’ve fought and compare that to anybody in the welterweight division. I’ve fought some of the best guys in the division.”
Hendricks has too. He’s won four straight, including a knockout of Jon Fitch and a split decision over Josh Koscheck. Kampmann is more than familiar with him -- they used to train together.
“He used to help me out with my wrestling, so I know him pretty well,” Kampmann said. “I was helping him out with his standup. We trained together, and I feel I’m the better striker. I’m definitely much slicker than he is, but he’s improved a lot, just like my wrestling has improved a lot. I’ve been taking guys down that have better wrestling credentials than me.”
In Kampmann’s view, Hendricks has the best wrestling resume in the UFC. He was a two-time NCAA champion at Oklahoma St. University, but he also packs power in his hands.
“I feel definitely I would have the advantage in the standup, but he’s still got heavy hands that I’ve got to respect and watch out for,” Kampmann said. “I’m going to stay out of danger. I usually do, but I usually do get punched a little bit. It’s a fight -- I’m going to get punched, but I can eat a shot and I can dish it back out.”
Of course, even if Kampmann beats Hendricks, there’s always a chance he might not get an immediate title shot. Georges St. Pierre could beat Carlos Condit at UFC 154 and put the division on hold to fight Anderson Silva, or Condit could beat St. Pierre and set up a rematch. Regardless, Kampmann has a plan to get himself a crack at the belt.
“I want to put it in my own hands,” he said, “and the way I’m going to put it in my own hands is by knocking out Johny Hendricks.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:01:00).