Carlos Condit (28-7, 13 KO’s, 13 Subs)
I am an unabashed fan of the Natural Born Killer and convinced the judges got it right when he was declared the winner of the highly controversial bout against Nick Diaz. He is pretty to watch and while that may be a somewhat flowery if not effeminate characterization of a man who is engaged in a very violent sport, it is an apt one. Condit effortlessly wheels spinning round houses and reverse crescent kicks with the grace and fluidity of a martial arts showman. But those kicks are not for show and when landed can do devastating damage.
Condit has lost his last two matches against George St. Pierre for the UFC Welterweight title and most recently against the current number one contender Johny Hendricks after he dropped a unanimous decision. But Condit’s loss was not a result of being overwhelmed or taking a cautious approach, it was his inability to defend Hendricks’ relentless takedowns that ultimately cost him the fight. He and Hendricks traded murderous strikes with Condit getting the slightly better of the exchanges but it was his time on his back courtesy of Hendricks that cost him the match but copped Fight of the Night honors at UFC 158.
Martin Kampmann (20-6, 8 KO’s, 7 Subs)
While Condit waged a three-round war with Hendricks the same cannot be said of Martin Kampmann when he squared up against the suddenly rising star. Kampmann’s last trip to the Octagon ended in violent fashion at UFC 154 as Hendricks floored the Dane in 46 seconds of the opening round. Kampmann was keeping the shorter combatant at bay with sporadic roundhouse kicks until Hendricks threw an overhand right that set up a blistering left to the jaw. Good night sweet prince.
Prior to that swift ending, Kampmann had racked up three consecutive victories over Rick Story (unanimous decision), Thiago Alves (submission via guillotine choke) and Jake Ellenberger (TKO). He will most likely follow a similar game plan that Hendricks apparently stole right out of his playbook, of his first encounter with the former WEC welterweight king. A succession of takedowns leading to dominant positions on the mat was enough to tilt the decision in his favor.
Condit is suddenly in peril of falling victim to Dana White’s unspoken rule of three consecutive losses and you’re out. However unless Condit puts on a woeful performance, which is highly unlikely, he is simply too good to be penalized for losing three hard fought battles with the elite of the welterweight division. That being said I don’t believe he will have to concern himself with such a weighty issue.
Condit has now lost two matches by simply being unable to defend against extraordinary takedown artists. Condit is supremely equipped to turn his defense into a lethal offense when he deftly seizes submission opportunities. Unfortunately for him his last two adversaries, GSP and Hendricks, acquitted themselves quite well and were able to keep the fight on the ground without succumbing to Condit’s mat tricks.
My hunch is that Condit will be working tirelessly on takedown defenses and though Kampmann will be successful on occasion taking the fight to the ground he will be unable to keep Condit down for long. In our UFC picks for Fox Sports 1 - Episode 2 I believe the Natural Born Killer will control the cage and either put Kampmann’s lights out or walk away with a clear cut unanimous decision.
WilliamHill.com has the UFC odds favoring Carlos Condit in this one and even though the price seems a bit steep we believe it’s a wager worth making.
Free Picks: Play Condit -227 at WilliamHill.com