UFC 154: Kampmann vs. Hendricks Saturday, November 17 – 11:00 p.m. ET
Bell Centre – Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Martin Kampmann (20-5) vs. Johny Hendricks (13-1) Welterweight bout
Line: Hendricks -160, Kampmann +130
In a potential eliminator bout for the chance to battle the winner of St-Pierre/Condit for the welterweight belt, Martin Kampmann and Johny Hendricks fight on the main card at UFC 154 on Saturday night.
Hendricks enters this fight as a slight favorite but still with a chip on his shoulder—he thought his previous win against Josh Koscheck in May was the one he needed for a chance at the welterweight crown, but here he is instead. Including that split decision, Hendricks has won four fights in a row, two via decision and two via knockout that lasted a combined 1:47. Prior to that, he lost in a decision to Rick Story. Kampmann has won three fights in a row over Story, Thiago Alves and Jake Ellenberger by decision, submission and KO, respectively. He also beat Condit in 2009, who is now fighting for the welterweight crown on this same card. Between that and the June victory against Ellenberger, Kampmann has shown he can beat top foes, while he owns a key victory against their most recent mutual opponent, Story, as well. Take KAMPMANN as a slight underdog to win.
"The Hitman" Kampmann has won three in a row since a two-fight losing skid, falling to top-notch contenders Diego Sanchez and Jake Shields in those two bouts, both via decision. The former middleweight has extreme power with eight career knockouts, but he also has a refined Jiu-Jitsu attack that makes him very comfortable taking things to the ground. That skill will be very important going against Hendricks’ takedown style. The 30-year-old Kampmann is also a strong defender and at 6-foot-0, he owns a 3-inch height advantage here. Take him and the help from the lines.
"Bigg Rigg" Hendricks is coming off a narrow split-decision victory against Koscheck that many thought would launch him to the title fight, but UFC president Dana White had other plans. That was a key win for Hendricks, but he still has time to prove that he can hang with the best—Kampmann has a few more losses on his resume, but he has also beaten more top contenders. The 29-year-old Hendricks is a wrestler by trade and aims to take his opponents down, bringing them to a position where his small frame can become an advantage, not disadvantage. Of his 13 career wins, seven are knockouts and five are decisions. He doesn’t have the same defensive consistency as Kampmann, so he will need to earn a key takedown early to make sure he can win this before the final bell.