Thomas Gerbasi, UFC - Former WEC welterweight champion Carlos Condit didn’t get any gimmes in his first UFC bout Wednesday at the Sommet Center, and even though he proved he belonged with the best 170 pounders in the world, the night belonged to his opponent, Martin Kampmann, who used a series of submission attempts to take a razor-thin split decision in a fast-paced battle between two of the division’s rising stars.
By Thomas Gerbasi
NASHVILLE, April 1 – Former WEC welterweight champion Carlos Condit didn’t get any gimmes in his first UFC bout Wednesday at the Sommet Center, and even though he proved he belonged with the best 170 pounders in the world, the night belonged to his opponent, Martin Kampmann, who used a series of submission attempts to take a razor-thin split decision in a fast-paced battle between two of the division’s rising stars.
Scores were 29-28, 29-28, and 28-29 for Kampmann, who seemed close to finishing Condit with a guillotine choke at the end of the first round.
“It was deep, I thought I had him, but Carlos is really tough man,” said Kampmann. “That was a war.”
The evenly matched nature of the bout was evident almost immediately, as the two locked horns in the middle of the Octagon. Kampmann broke the stalemate with a takedown and a subsequent guillotine choke attempt. After a few tense moments, Condit broke loose and got back to his feet, but it was a brief respite, as both men went back to the canvas in order to work from there. After the two fought for position, Kampmann worked for a heel hook. Again, Condit escaped and opened up a cut under Kampmann’s left eye with a flush ground strike. The two got back to their feet and began to trade, with Condit holding the edge behind sweeping kicks and strikes. By the end of the round though, it was Kampmann again locking in the guillotine choke, with only the bell intervening.
Trading kicks to open the second, the pace remained high, and Kampmann looked to continue his ground success as he took Condit to the mat. Kampmann was able to land a thudding punch to Condit’s head while there, but Condit was still dangerous from the bottom with elbows and up kicks. As the round approached the midway point, Condit fought his way back to his feet and landed some hard strikes before pinning Kampmann against the fence. Kampmann fired back and drove Condit across the Octagon before sinking in his third guillotine choke. Condit, refusing to go away that easily, escaped and tried a rear naked choke on Kampmann as the crowd erupted in appreciation for both fighters’ efforts. This time, it was Kampmann escaping and gaining the upper hand just before round two reached its conclusion.
The action came to a halt early in round three when Kampmann took an inadvertent poke in the eye, but after a lock from the Octagonside physician, the botu was allowed to continue. Once the fight resumed, the fighters picked up where they left off, with Kampmann scoring a takedown and firing off punches while Condit punched back from the bottom and looked for submissions. With under 2:30 left, Condit scrambled to his feet, but Kampmann wouldn’t let him go that easy, dragging him back to the mat. Again, Condit made it back to his feet, but after a slip, Kampmann capitalized and got back in Condit’s guard. The final salvo would be fired by Condit though, as he sunk in a guillotine choke just before the bout ended.
With the win, Kampmann improves to 15-2; Condit falls to 23-5.