Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Kampmann-Hendricks UFC 154 Co-Main Event May Set Up Welterweight Title Shot

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Kampmann-Hendricks UFC 154 Co-Main Event May Set Up Welterweight Title Shot

Article excerpt

UFC 154 co-main event may set up title shot

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The welterweight spotlight shines on champion Georges St-Pierre and interim title-holder Carlos (Natural Born Killer) Condit on Saturday at UFC 154.

But the 170-pound division will also be impacted by the co-main event at Montreal's Bell Centre, which sees Martin (The Hitman) Kampmann face Johny (Bigg Rigg) Hendricks.

Kampmann, for one, believes the winner of his fight should get the next title shot.

"I hope so. I can't see anybody else that would deserve it," he said. "All the wins that both me and Johny have, I think it should definitely come down to being a No. 1 contender fight. There's nobody else in the division that can claim the same run that we've had."

Kampmann (20-5) and Hendricks (13-1) have been on a roll of late.

Kampmann, whose record includes a 2009 victory over Condit, is coming off wins over Rick (The Horror) Story, Thiago (Pitbull) Alves and Jake (The Juggernaut) Ellenberger.

Hendricks, a former NCAA champion wrestler at Oklahoma State, is riding a win streak that has left T.J. Waldburger, Mike Pierce, Jon Fitch and Josh Koscheck in his wake. Fitch and Koscheck have both challenged GSP for the title.

Kampmann and Hendricks used to train together in Las Vegas at Xtreme Couture. Hendricks was helping Kampmann with his wrestling. Kampmann offered tips on striking in return.

"We were hanging out a little bit to, so we know each other fairly well," said Kampmann. "But I still feel confident I'll get the win though.

"It's not going to hold us back in the cage. We're still going to try to beat each other's heads off. But that's going to be set aside afterwards. When we're in the cage, we're there to fight."

In addition to his wrestling prowess, Hendricks has heavy hands -- he needed one punch and just 12 seconds to stop Fitch, who had a five-inch reach advantage. But Kampmann is the better technical striker.

"He swings kind of reckless sometimes. That will leave openings for me to exploit but at the same time, if you get caught by those punches, it's going to hurt," said Kampmann.

"But I feel good. I've been caught with big shots before and I'm going to keep fighting either way. I'm prepared to take a punch. But of course, I'd prefer to do all the punching and not getting hit."

The 30-year-old Dane, who now calls Las Vegas home, is 11-4 in the UFC. A former middleweight who dropped down to welterweight, his record might be even better if the judges had looked on him kinder in close fights against Diego Sanchez and Jake Shields.

He says he's tired of talking about those fights, although he remains mystified how anyone could give the decision to Sanchez -- who looked like he had been in a car crash after the fight.

"It's in the past and I can't change the past. But I can look forward and I'm on a good winning streak and I'm onto better things. …

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