Written by @NickRiznerMMA
It was a career that began in 2003 and ran strong for over ten years.
After going 9-1 in a run that included a Cage Warriors Middleweight Championship and one title defense, Kampmann made his UFC debut back in 2006, at the age of 24. He quickly put together a four fight wins streak that was ended by Nate Marquardt at UFC 88.
It was at this point when Kampmann decided to drop down to weltweight for the first time; the weight at which he would fight for the rest of his career.
Martin Kampmann’s legacy is one of grittiness and excitement. He had one of those names that stood out on a fight card, and in the late stages of his career, he was finally rewarded for that legacy.
Kampmann earned Performance of the Night bonuses in four of his last five fights with an easy opponent in the mix.
First, it was a Fight of the Night war with the Fight of the Night king, Diego Sanchez. Then, he went 3-0 against Rick Story, Tiago Alves, and Jake Ellenberger with a Submission of the Night and Knockout of the Night bonus vs. Alves and Ellenberger respectively.
The streak was ended by the left hand of Johny Hendricks, but Kampmann bounced back with what now stands as his farewell performance.
And oh what a performance it was.
For three rounds, Carlos Condit and Martin Kampmann went to war. It was a war that rivaled the best of both men’s illustrious careers. Ultimately, it ended with an onslaught of hooks and knees from Condit, but it also stands as the perfect illustration of the kind of heart Kampmann brought to every fight he entered.
With Condit also contemplating retirement, we could be looking at the end of another era of throwback warriors. But have no fear! They live on through their pupils, and for Kampmann, his impression will be left on the fighters of Team Alpha Male, where he’s served as head coach since the departure of the controversial Duane Ludwig.
So to Martin Kampmann, from all of us here at MMA Mad, congratulations on an amazing career and best of luck with all your future endeavors. It’s been an pleasure watching you fight!