Martin Kampmann is finally ready to pick on someone his own size. Not that the man nicknamed “The Hitman” has ever made it a habit to pick on smaller men but exactly the opposite.
On Saturday night Kampmann will make his welterweight debut against Alexandre Barros who will be making his first appearance in the octagon. Kapmann had previously campaigned at 185 pounds for the bulk of his career but will be moving down to 170 pounds for the match up with Barros.
Kampan confessed in an exclusive interview with FiveOuncesOfPain.com that there are times at the gym that he walks around lighter than some of the guys that compete at 155 pounds. In today’s age of cutting weight, that’s a problem.
“I’ve always been kind of light for a middleweight,” admitted Kampmann. “When I go down to the gym some of the guys that fight at 170 are heavier than me. Even some of the guys that fight at 155, when they’re out of shape, they would be heavier than me. I figured I would give it a try and try the welterweight division out.”
Barros has been in the game for more than a decade, went to the third round with former UFC welterweight Champion Matt Hughes back in 2000 and is currently riding a nine fight win streak. Even considering all of these factors it has been extremely difficult for Kampmann to do any homework on his opponent but he has a pretty good idea of what he can expect.
“I’ve seen a little video on him but not much,” said Kampmann. “I’m just expecting for him to be a really tough guy.”
“He’s been fighting for a long time. He’s been fighting since before I even knew what MMA was. He’s been in the game for a while so I’m expecting a really tough fight.”
There may not be an abundance of tape to research on his opponent but Kampmann knows one area that he will need to spend some extra time in the gym on while preparing for the seasoned Brazilian.
“My main focus has been working on fighting left handed fighters,” said Kampmann. “Barros is a southpaw so I’ve been training with a lot of southpaws for this one.”
“All of the punches come from different angles so you have to move a little differently as compared to when you fight a right handed guy. That has definitely been one of the main areas I have been focusing on.”
He’ll have plenty of good left handers to help him get ready while preparing at one of the world’s most respected mixed martial arts gyms.
“It’s great to have a camp like Xtreme Couture to train at,” said the 26 year old Denmark native. “I have a bunch of good training partners and of course we have Randy down here and he’s a great guy. Everybody helps each other out and I feel like it has helped my game a lot.”
“Here most of the guys that I train with do this for a living. Back home it’s guys that have jobs and families so it’s hard to schedule everything. Here at Xtreme Couture you know that there will always be guys training professionally because they have to fight.”
After compiling a nine fight win streak with four consecutive wins in the UFC, Kampmann was stopped in the first round of his last bout by top middleweight, Nate Marquardt. The loss put a bad taste in his mouth and he is eager to show that he is back and better than ever at 170 pounds.
“I feel really good,” said Kampmann. “I’ve been training hard every day and I’m looking forward to the fight.
“I just want to go out there and beat him up. I want to get the win any way I can.”
Just because Kampmann can make the cut down to 170 pounds doesn’t necessarily mean that he is ready to call the welterweight division his home for good. Kampmann doesn’t sweat the small stuff, he just wants to scrap.
“I don’t care so much about the weight,” said Kampmann. “I don’t really care where I fight as long as I get paid so 185 or 170, I don’t care.”
“I just want to thank all of my fans back home, Hitman Fight Gear for supporting me and MMA Agents for helping me out.”