Martin Kampmann Talks Recovery, UFC Return — An MMAjunkie.com Interview -- MMAjunkie.com
Martin Kampmann Talks Recovery, UFC Return ó An MMAjunkie.com Interview
Posted by MMA Junkie on February 11, 2008 at 8:00 pm ET
Martin KampmannItís been nearly a year since famed Danish kickboxer and middleweight contender Martin Kampmann (15-2 MMA, 3-0 UFC) last competed in the UFC.
After defeating hard-hitting Drew McFedries with a first-round submission at UFC 68, the 25-year-old was then scheduled to headline a UFC 72 event against Rich Franklin. However, Kampmann had to pull out of the bout a month before the event due to an extensive knee injury ó one that resulted from a freak accident in a training session.
The damage was substantial, and heíd go under the knife twice before everything was patched up appropriately.
ďWhen I say the kid blew out his knee, I mean he really blew out his knee,Ē his agent Ken Pavia originally told MMAjunkie.com (UFC News & Rumors - MMA News - UFC Fighters - UFC Event Recaps and Previews - MMAjunkie.com
). ďHis ACL, his MCL ó pretty much every ĎLí there is.ď
Kampmannís still isnít 100 percent, but heís getting there. And heís got a tentative return date in mind. He says he just needs his knee ó and the confidence in it ó to hold up.
MMAjunkie.com recently spoke to the UFCís forgotten middleweight contender about the injury, the subsequent surgeries, sitting on the sidelines, getting back in the cage and ó maybe, just maybe ó getting his shot at the title.
MMAJUNKIE.COM: Well, letís start with the question everyoneís been asking: when are we going to see you back competing in the UFC?
MARTIN KAMPMANN: Hopefully, soon. Iím still not 100 percent recovered from the injury. Iím feeling like Iím getting there. Iím seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
MMAJUNKIE.COM: So, we could see you there sooner rather than later?
MARTIN KAMPMANN: I really hope so. I just started talking to the UFC again about a fight. Itís not right around the corner, though. I think itíll probably be this summer sometime. Thatís when Iíll probably be back and ready to go.
MMAJUNKIE.COM: Your agent, Ken Pavia, mentioned that youíre about six weeks away from being able to train at 100 percent. Do you think thatís accurate?
MARTIN KAMPMANN: Yeah, I think so. You know, I train pretty hard. I really go at it. I started doing (my training) pretty hard. But, the thing with my knee is that if I push it too hard, it swells up big, and I wonít be able to do something for a couple days. How do you guys say it? Iím walking on the edge. I want to train, but I just canít go as hard as I want to because itíll backfire on me. Iíll have to slow down and take it easy. You feel like you have to be careful all the time.
MMAJUNKIE.COM: Which knee was injured: right or left?
MARTIN KAMPMANN: It was my left knee.
MMAJUNKIE.COM: Can you explain how you originally injured it?
MARTIN KAMPMANN: I was sparring. I was going for a takedown, and the guy just kind of fell on my knee. It was real bad luck. My knee popped out and hyper-extended the wrong way. I tore my ACL and MCL, and I tore my meniscus as well. It was major surgery. You canít do it arthroscopically with that (type of injury). They had to open the knee. It caused a lot of scar tissue. They had to do re-constructive surgery with cadaver tissue and all that. Yeah, it was crazy.
MMAJUNKIE.COM: Not many people know, but you actually had two knee surgeries, correct?
MARTIN KAMPMANN: Yeah. I went back a couple months later; it was a chip or something in there. There wasnít a second injury. It was just a scope. It was minor. They just had to clean it up. It was nothing compared to the first one. It was no big deal with the second one.
MMAJUNKIE.COM: What kind of training can you do right now? Are you limited with what you can do?
MARTIN KAMPMANN: I can do ó more or less ó everything I normally would, but I donít have some flexibility. I canít bend (my knee) all the way. Of course, itís also not as strong. Itís still weak since it hasnít been used for so long, and it gets some inflammation and has some scar tissue. Itís a mental barrier too when youíre training. When a guy grabs your knee ó you have to cross that mental barrier. Itís tough at first, and Iím still getting used to that part. I need that mental toughness so I can feel confident with my knee.
MMAJUNKIE.COM: You train at Xtreme Couture. When did you first start training there?
MARTIN KAMPMANN: Itís kind of a long story, but I wanted to train in the U.S. I was still in Denmark. This was the summer (of 2006). I knew there were lots of different places over here. I called up (IFL and EliteXC fighter) Mike Pyle, who has been in Denmark, and asked him how he his training was going and where he was at. He said I should come to Las Vegas for Xtreme Couture and that heíd help me out. I came over here, and I really liked it.
MMAJUNKIE.COM: So, youíre in Las Vegas full-time now?
MARTIN KAMPMANN: I still go back to Denmark to see my family and stuff. I do that every once in a while. But yeah, Iím pretty much living here all the time now.
MMAJUNKIE.COM: The gym really is stocked with top-tier talent. Whatís it like training there with so many UFC-caliber fighters?
MARTIN KAMPMANN: Itís great. There are so many great sparring partners when you come to the gym. You can come in, and there are just of great guys to work with at anytime.
MMAJUNKIE.COM: When you do come back to the UFC, do you think youíll need a ďwarm-upĒ fight before you jump right back into title contention?
MARTIN KAMPMANN: Well, thatís not really ó you see, there arenít too many warm-up fights in the UFC. You only have tough fights in the UFC, so I think somebody calling it a warm-up fight is kind of an insult. Everybody is tough in the UFC. The fans need to realize that. There are no easy fights. Anything can happen. Itís a fight, so I just need to be ready and the best I can be.
MMAJUNKIE.COM: Before you injury, you were suppose to fight Rich Franklin in the UFC 72 main event. Is that a fight you still want at some point?
MARTIN KAMPMANN: It depends. It was a great offer at that time. Rich has since lost to Silva. Rich just doesnít get the credit he deserves because of it. Heís a really great fighter, but Anderson Silva just had his number. I still think it would be a tough fight. I have no particular interest in just that fight, but Iíd be happy to fight anyone, including Rich. Heíd be a great competitor.
MMAJUNKIE.COM: Have you been watching most of the UFC events since you were injured ó and is it tough since youíve been on the sidelines for almost a year?
MARTIN KAMPMANN: Oh yeah. I love to watch the events. It makes it even worse. You want to get in there even worse after watching an event, and you want to fight and compete so bad. I love to watch the UFC, but itís tough. Being injured reminds you that you canít do that yet. It kind of sucks.
MMAJUNKIE.COM: Obviously, the fighter everyone has their eyes on is middleweight champ Anderson Silva. How do you think you match up with him?
MARTIN KAMPMANN: Heís a tough fight for everyone. I think I could give him a fight, though. Heís a very tough dude. Thereís a reason heís the champ. He has some skills. I think it could be a great fight, though.
MMAJUNKIE.COM: Where would you have the advantage?
MARTIN KAMPMANN: I donít know. Iíd have to work on my game plan. Itís not anything Iíve been working on or thinking about. I think everyoneís beatable. Iíd just have to find the right way to do it.
MMAJUNKIE.COM: Have you given any thought to moving down to welterweight ó seeing how you used to fight at 170 lbs. and are a smaller middleweight?
MARTIN KAMPMANN: Iíve considered it. Iím fighting middleweight right now, and Iím doing pretty well winning all my UFC fightsÖ I donít think Iíd ever move up, though. Thatís for sure. Iím not the biggest middleweight. I can compete with them. But (light heavyweight)? I donít think Iíd move up unless I get fat in my old days.
MMAJUNKIE.COM: Silva fights Dan Henderson next month at UFC 82. Whatís your prediction for the fight?
MARTIN KAMPMANN: Iím looking forward to the fight. Itís an awesome fight. Henderson has the tools to beat Silva. I think he could pull it off if he makes the right decisions with a good gameplan. He can take him down and ground and pound him. Unless he starts to fight him with stand-up, he loses. But if heís smart about it, I think Henderson can take it.
MMAJUNKIE.COM: I think a lot of people forget that youíre only 25 year old? What all would you like to accomplish in this sport before you retire?
MARTIN KAMPMANN: Iíd love to win the belt. Thatís the ultimate goal in the UFC. Thatís looking too far ahead, though. My goal is to get back into fighting. Iím doing my rehab and getting stronger. Thatís my goal for the past eight months. But yeah, ultimately Iíd like to win the belt and get to fight in title fights.
I hope he is 100% now.... i think this kid has a ton of potential!!!