Longtime mixed martial arts veteran and fan favorite Martin Kampmann talks about some of his most memorable fights and life inspirations.
Tony Reid – If you could choose one fight from your career that every MMA fan should see which fight would you choose and why?
Martin Kampmann – “I would just tell people to watch all of my wins and none of my losses. Actually, I would pick my fight with Diego Sanchez. I think I got screwed in that fight. Go watch that fight and tell me what you think. I think I beat him up.”
Tony Reid – You have been on the wrong end of a number of controversial decisions in your career. What are your thoughts on the judging system and process? Do you see any way it could be improved?
Martin Kampmann – “I definitely think the judging has to be changed. I don’t have the solution but obviously there are some problems. We have seen too many fights go the wrong way. You are messing with people’s livelihoods there. It’s a lot of money guys could be missing out on. One thing that would help a lot would be have fighters as they retire cross over to judging. The commission should start getting guys who are fighters, guys in the gym in there. We have some good judges but also some that don’t know much about the sport.”
Tony Reid – You are known as “The Hitman” due to your striking prowess and your demeanor in the cage but you have 10 wins by submission. How did that happen?
Martin Kampmann – “I have been grappling for a very long time. I have won a number of submission and grappling tournaments. When I got into the UFC I got labeled as a striker and it kind of stuck with me. My martial arts experience started out in Thai Boxing and Amateur boxing. I got labeled as a striker. Its fine by me but don’t be surprised if I pull off a submission, too.”
Tony Reid – The first time I saw you fight live was at UFC 68 in Columbus, Ohio and I remember how that fight went down. I remember thinking with that amazing comeback that you had a bright future in the sport.
Martin Kampmann – “Thank you. A lot of people tell me that the fight was one of their favorites. I always got knocked around a bit to start a fight. He was a really strong guy with heavy hands and I ate some shots, got knocked down but I got back into the fight and got it to the ground and choked him unconscious. That was a great comeback. I have a lot of these great comebacks. Sometimes I have to get punched around to realize I’m in a fight. I have to solve that puzzle. Maybe I should have gotten smacked around backstage before the walkout to the cage.”
Tony Reid – You said you were a fan of the movie Bloodsport, icons like Bruce Lee and I hear you wanted to be a ninja growing up. You are pretty much as close to that as you can get in real life. Can you elaborate on that early influence that inspired you to do what you do today?
Martin Kampmann – “I was watching Jean Claude Van Damme and Bruce Lee and all that stuff. I thought those guys were bad asses. I was trying to do all the cool shit with my buddies in school, we thought we were pretty bad ass, too. I got into Karate when I was really young. Then I got into Boxing and Thai boxing. It started back then and now it’s my livelihood, which is pretty cool.”
Tony Reid – If you could fight anyone in any weight class who would you pick a fight with and why?
Martin Kampmann – “I generally like to think about top ten guys in my weight class. I would say Carlos Condit or Nick Diaz. I would like to fight one of those guys.”
Tony Reid – If you could fight anyone outside the world of MMA who would you pick a fight with and why?
Martin Kampmann – “Somebody really weak and small so I would look awesome. Also, they would have to have a terrible skill set. Would you watch that fight? I guarantee he would get beat the fuck up.”
Tony Reid – Who are the people that inspire you to do what you do and inspire you to be great?
Martin Kampmann – “My wife and my kids.”