by Thomas Gerbasi for the UFC
Bedtime is early for Martin Kampmann these days, a perk of being newly retired, as well as the cost of having three children who are four-years-old and under. But lack of sleep aside, life is good for the 33-year-old “Hitman,” who officially retired from active MMA competition this week as he settles in with his wife and children in his native Denmark.
“I’ve known for a while,” the longtime middleweight and welterweight contender said of retirement. “I just haven’t really made it official. I’m not sure why.”
Maybe it’s that little voice that speaks to so many fighters who believe they’ve got one more left, and Kampmann, who won three straight over Rick Story, Thiago Alves and Jake Ellenberger before two losses to Johny Hendricks and Carlos Condit – the latter bout earning him Fight of the Night honors – certainly could have made another run. But no one knows better than a fighter when it’s time to walk away, even if he doesn’t always act on such knowledge.
“You never know,” he chuckled when asked about that little voice. “But I’ve known for a while that I’m not going to be fighting anymore. Sometimes it’s tough to make it official.”
Owner of a 20-7 record compiled during a career that began in 2003, Aarhus native Kampmann won 11 of 17 UFC bouts, but numbers don’t tell the complete story. A cerebral fighter with stellar technique both on the feet and the ground (hence his nine knockout wins and six submission victories), Kampmann could often live up to his nickname as the calm, cool and collected Hitman. But more often than not, he was able to turn from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde in the space of one exchange, being more than willing to dig down deep and get involved in a bloody, crowd pleasing brawl.