The UFC welterweight division is stacked, and, frankly, quite jammed up. On Wednesday night, in the Octagon’s return to Wednesday nights, a rematch fours years in the making will clear up some of the clutter with one man moving into line for a shot at the strap and one man moving down the totem pole.

On April 1, 2009, former WEC champ Carlos Condit made his UFC debut as parent company Zuffa LLC began merging the heavier divisions of the two promotions. In his debut, he faced rising welterweight Martin Kampmann, who had already been with Zuffa for three years, all under the UFC banner. In a hard-fought battle, Kampmann emerged victorious by split decision, handing Condit his first loss under a Zuffa banner and ending his eight-fight winning streak. This Wednesday night, at UFC Fight Night 27, these two will meet again in the main event, only this time a title shot is on the line.

Since their first battle, Condit and Kampmann have combined for 10 wins, six losses, eight “of the Night” honors, and one interim title that Condit won over Nick Diaz in February 2012. Condit lost that title in his next fight, which was a unification bout with undisputed welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre. Kampmann’s closest shot at the belt was an eliminator fight which he lost to Jake Shields nearly three years ago. Both men were in a position for a shot at GSP in the last 10 months, but both lost to No. 1 contender Johny Hendricks.

With Hendricks set to face GSP at UFC 167 in November, the winner of the Condit-Kampmann fight will likely get the champ in the first half of 2014. Both men need a huge win at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, and the loser will be taking a big jump in the wrong direction. Based on their last match-up and what they’ve done since, fans are in for one exciting fight on Wednesday night, live on Fox Sports 1.

In this special Sunday edition of “Fight of the Week,” let’s take a deeper look at the match-up. And as a reminder, this is a side-by-side comparison of how the fighters’ skills match up against one another using similar scoring to the unified rules.

Striking: Condit – 10, Kampmann – 10

Carlos Condit is an amazing striker. Even when he was on the WEC circuit, he was still one of the top welterweight strikers in the world. He’s a rangy 6-feet-2, has a 76-inch reach, and uses all of his tools effectively. Condit throws a lot of elbows and heel kicks from guard, and when he’s standing, he does a great job with distance management, using leg kicks and straight punches, with some killer knees in the clinch. Kampmann is also a dangerous striker, but he isn’t quite as creative with his attack.

In their first meeting, Condit did the most damage in the striking department, bloodying Kampmann with a knee to the left eye. Although Kampmann uses his punches well, he definitely didn’t do much damage on his feet. His best striking comes from top position on the ground. Three of Kampmann’s last five losses have come by knockout, whereas a Condit fight has never ended in a knockout loss for the former UFC interim champ.

On the feet, Kampmann is a world-class welterweight, but Condit is one of the very best strikers in the sport, regardless of weight class. Condit will surely do the most damage standing.

Wrestling: Condit – 9, Kampmann – 10

Not only did Kampmann showcase dominant wrestling in their first bout, but training out of Xtreme Couture has only made him better. His camp has fighters with much better wrestling backgrounds than Condit’s training partners at Jackson’s MMA, and his camp’s namesake, UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture, utilized wrestling skills to perfect his dirty boxing style that earned him multiple titles in two different weight classes within the UFC. Kampmann definitely has a style that is reminiscent of Couture up against the cage.

In their first meeting, Kampmann showed more expertise in the clinch, which he utilized to effectively deal with Condit’s four-inch reach advantage. He constantly won the battle for underhooks and used wrestling takedowns to get his opponent to the mat several times. While on the mat, he maintained top position most of the fight, even though Condit has an active guard.

Condit may not be a shabby wrestler by any means, but his propensity to go to his back on the ground and his trouble maintaining underhooks in their first bout put him at a disadvantage against a guy like Kampmann. The Danish fighter has always displayed superior wrestling skills.

Submission Grappling: Condit – 10, Kampmann – 10

Condit and Kampmann are both brown belts in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, yet their grappling styles could not be more contrasting.

Condit likes to fight from his back on the ground. Whether in guard or rear hooks, he is constantly attacking with a combination of strikes and submission attempts. One of his signature postitions is the figure-four body lock, which is very restrictive to his opponent’s breathing and sets up a lot of opportunities. In his pro career, he has 13 wins by submission, but hasn’t submitted anyone since Carlo Prater at WEC 32 over five years ago. That is not the case for Kampmann.

Last year, Kampmann finished off Thiago Alves with a third-round guillotine choke, earning him “Submission of the Night” honors. He tapped out Jacob Volkmann only two years prior. Kampmann’s grappling style is very attack-heavy. The second a fight hits the mat, he’s going for the finish.

In their last bout, Kampmann was very much the aggressor in the grappling department. He went for multiple choke attempts, and his submission defense was spot-on. At no point in that match did it appear that Condit was the better grappler. When Condit realized he had no submission attack over Kampmann, he went back to heel and elbow strikes, but that doesn’t mean that will be the case this time around.

Both men are extremely dangerous on the ground in different ways. However, one is not necessarily better than the other, so in the submission grappling department, it’s really a toss-up.


The biggest x-factor in this fight is Condit’s past title history. He has more experience with big-name opponents and is a former titleholder in both the WEC and UFC. Anyone that has been at the top will always say that it is much worse to have been the champ and lost it than to have never been the champ at all. Both of these guys are pretty equal in the overall skill department, but there is something extra in Condit’s head that Kampmann has yet to experience.

Total: Condit – 29, Kampmann – 29

Verdict: Condit is coming off back-to-back losses, which hasn’t happened since 2006 (and that time, he followed it up with an eight-fight winning streak). Kampmann’s last four years have been spotty, with the Xtreme Couture fighter going 5-4, whereas Condit has really been growing into his top-three position. Condit has revenge on his mind and a desire to get back his world champion status. Kampmann will put up a good fight, just like last time, but Condit will come out the victor, earning that shot at the UFC welterweight belt.

Photo: Carlos Condit (Sherdog)

About The Author

Dan Kuhl
Interview Coordinator