Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fight Week Previews: Martin Kampmann vs. Paul Daley

Martin Kampmann was supposed to be facing Mike Swick in a #1 Contender match, the winner going on to face Georges St-Pierre sometime next year but plans have changed.

Swick was injured during training camp and forced to pull out of the fight, leaving an opening for recently signed British kickboxer Paul "Semtex" Daley.

Though unknown to most of the North American market, Daley is a credible fighter and could prove to be a handful for the former middleweight from Denmark if he's not ready.

Martin "The Hitman" Kampmann (15-2-0) vs. Paul "Semtex" Daley (21-8-2)

Starting where we always do, Kampmann earns a clear edge in the training camp competition, working out of Xtreme Couture Las Vegas.

If this were a kickboxing match, Daley would win hands down, as he trains with the legendary Ernesto Hoost and company at the Vos Gym. But this is MMA, not kickboxing.

Strength of schedule is a tough one, as both have faced some talented opponents over the years. The deciding factor though, as expected is results, and where Kampmann has come away victorious over guys like Carlos Condit, Thales Leites and Drew McFedries, Daley has come away on the wrong side of the ledger against Nick Thompson and Jake Shields.

That Shields fight should actually serve as the stylistic mirror to Saturday night's third broadcast bout. While Kampmann has superior striking in comparison with the Cesar Gracie jiu jitsu product, the only way for Daley to win this fight is by catching Kampmann standing up or picking at him with strikes.

On the ground, this is all Kampmann and don't be surprised if "The Hitman" comes out looking for the takedown. We've seen him lock up McFedries in an arm triangle and choke out Jorge Rivera, so you know the know-how is there.

What happens next is the most interesting element of this fight.

If Daley scores the upset, the already muddied welterweight waters become even murkier.

If Kampmann wins, nothing is promised anymore, as rumors have Josh Koscheck also being considered for GSP's triumphant return should he emerge victorious.

Even though the question of "Who's Next?" in the welterweight division may not be answered, we're still in line for another great fight and that's something no one can complain about.

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