Martin Kampmann is a well-known name in the world of MMA. With a recent hiatus, Kampmann who is only 31 years old is feeling the effects of his 17 fight career in the UFC. It was his notable fight with Jake Ellenberger where Kampmann began feeling the tolls of being an MMA fighter.
“That’s one fight where after that fight I was, I was really, I had a bad impression after that fight. I took a long break after that, but I don’t think I took a long enough break, you know, I got cut up, I got some good stitches, but I wasn’t feeling good for a minute after that one. I should’ve taken a longer break, but I was back in training too soon I think because it was a good opportunity to go and fight Johny (Hendricks), it was you know, supposed to be a Number One contendership fight so I didn’t turn it down. I think in retrospect I should probably have taken a longer break.”
Perhaps Kampmann has a point, suffering consecutive KO/TKO losses to Johnny Hendricks and Carlos Condit back to back since returning too soon from his Ellenberger fight. However, it could be Kampmann’s fight preparation that’s really to blame for his lingering break from MMA.
“”If there was something I could go back and change in my career it would be training smarter. You know, when you’re younger you don’t wanna be a pussy, you know, when you’re going with somebody big, you know, you’re going with heavyweights, sparring, slugging it out, gym wars, you don’t wanna back down, you don’t wanna be a pussy, so you’re chuckin’ it up, but in the long run that’s not good for you. You’ve gotta train smart and fight smart. Nobody’s gonna pay you to go hard in the sparring room”
Indeed, training smarter has recently been a heated debate in the MMA community, with Robbie Lawler coming out and saying that sparring is a rarity for him in his training. Kampmann however, went on to describe some of the tough training sessions he experienced through his storied career.
“”In the past I used to do too much sparring against bigger, heavier guys. There’s no need for me to be sparring, you know, (against) big guys like Forrest (Griffin), Vitor (Blefort), Wanderlei (Silva), those are big guys, that f***n throw some heavy punches”
“People used to get knocked out in the gym, that’s not good, you know. That takes a toll on you getting knocked out. I’ve never been knocked out in the gym, I’ve been knocked down from body shots in the gym but never….I’ve had my bell rung in the gym, but I’ve seen other people getting knocked the f***k out and that takes a toll on those guys.”
“It’s a tough man’s sport, you know. People don’t want to be a, you know, people want to be tough. It’s a good kind thing being tough, but sometimes you can be too tough for your own good”
Kampmann’s is possibly a cautionary tale for future MMA fighters looking for longevity in one of the toughest sports in the world, however one can’t help but wonder if with “smarter training” fighters will be able to reach the same levels as the pioneers before them.
Check out the full interview by Submission Radio here and follow them @submissionradioaus for more interviews and MMA news.
Article written by Denis Shkuratov, Submission Radio Australia