“The Hitman” strikes backBy Asgard • Jun 19th, 2008 • Category: Interviews, Reports
Martin Kampmann had just earned a fight against former Middleweight champ Rich Franklin when the disaster struck – Kampmann blew out his knee, and for 16 months he could just wait for his knee to heal. But the Hitman came back with a vengeance and just recently fought and defeated Jorge Rivera at UFC 85.
If you haven’t seen the fight yet check it out HERE!
Asgard: First of all – congratulations on your victory!
Kampmann: Thanks a lot!
Asgard: Weren’t you nervous going into the octagon – after more than a year “on the shelf”?
Kampmann: No more than usual. I trained hard for this fight and I felt well prepared. But always a little butterflies anyway…
Asgard: What was you game plan against Jorge Rivera? Jorge is also a primarily a striker – was the submission a part of your tactic or was it something that just happened?
Kampmann: I prepared to fight the fight wherever it would go. He initiated the clinch and gave me the opportunity for a take down so I took it. But I wasn’t worried about striking with him either.
Asgard: You never seem to stress in your fights. Is this just on the surface or are you really that relaxed and composed?
Kampmann: I try to stay very relaxed and focused when I fight, some people like to hype themselves up. For me it works better to just stay calm.
Asgard: Can you tell us something about your background – how come you started with martial arts and MMA?
Kampmann: I started training kick and thaiboxing in Kung Fu Toa gym that is now Colosseum gym, and also did some fights. A little later I got into submission wrestling through Shooters MMA. I started doing amateur MMA and I went to Sweden to train a lot with August Wallén, who’s a very good instructor. I also had some boxing fights.
Asgard: When and why did you go pro?
Kampmann: I went my first pro fight at Viking fight. It was in my hometown and I thought it would be cool to fight in front of the hometown crowd and even cooler to get paid. I won my fight quick and it was shown on the TV channel Eurosport as well, I thought that was pretty cool.
Asgard: How come you ended up in Vegas?
Kampmann: I had summer break form my studies and I always wanted to go to US and train MMA, and get a fight if I could. I was mailing with some different gyms when I got in contact with Mike Pyle, he used to live in Denmark where I had met him on a few occasions. I went out to train in Vegas and stayed at his house and he helped me out a lot. Around that time Xtreme Couture started to take shape and I jumped on board.
Asgard: First you fought in WFA…
Kampmann: Yeah, I took that fight on two days notice. Phil Baroni told me they needed a replacement and I got it hooked up through Ken Pavia, who is now my manager. I fought Aguilar and caught him with a good uppercut that knocked him down, followed up with some ground and pound and got the win.
Asgard: How did you get into the UFC?
Kampmann: UFC needed a replacement for Kalib Starnes, because he was injured. So I kinda got my name in the door with the WFA fight. I signed Ken Pavia as manager and he got me in as replacement in UFC. It started off as a summer holiday, but when I got home I had a UFC contract and two wins in the US too. It’s defiantly been the most life-changing holiday I’ve had!
Asgard: How long is your contract with the UFC?
Kampmann: I’ve got two fights left on my contract.
Asgard: Nowadays you are living in Las Vegas and trains at the Xtreme Couture gym. As I understand you are also a coach there?
Kampmann: Yes, Xtreme Couture is a great place too be. I have a lot of good sparring partners and there’s a good atmosphere in the gym. I teach some classes now and then, but my main focus is on training myself and becoming a better fighter.
Asgard: A typical day in the Hitman’s life? The training regime?
Kampmann: I usually get up between 7-8 go train in the morning, cardio and weights or wrestling/boxing it changes. Go home and have some food and a little nap. I’ll go train again at 16, usually sparring in the afternoon. Either big gloves or small gloves. Home to eat and next day repeat…
Asgard: Who are your main training partners?
Kampmann: I have a lot. Mike Pyle, Jay Hieron, Robert Drysdale, Tyson Griffin, Gray Maynard, John Allesio, Randy Couture, Forrest Griffin, Phil Baroni, Wanderlei Silva to name some and a whole bunch of up and coming fighters you’ll get to know when they get some more fights.
Asgard: Wow, you have so many excellent fighters to train with! I understand that you learn different things from different partners, but which one have you learned most from and whom are you most impressed by?
Kampmann: I’ve learned a lot from Mike Pyle who’s is one of the guys I work the most with. Now that Drysdale joined the team I’ve learned a lot of “jits” from him as well, his grappling is awesome! Randy has helped me improve my wrestling and so have Johnny Hendrics and Jay Hieron. I learn from everybody I work with and try to get as much out of everybody as I can. [you can learn more of what happens at Xtreme Couture HERE!]
Asgard: What’s next for the Hitman – another shot at the Ace or maybe go directly after the Spider?
Kampmann: I’m in no rush to get a title shot, somewhere down the line I would love too but I want to deserve that spot. I still feel I’m evolving a lot as a fighter and want to be the best I can be.
Asgard: By the way – how come you got the nickname Hitman, and why?
Kampmann: I got that nickname from Tue Trnka (a Danish MMA reporter). He gave it to me in one of his fight articles because he thought I was always cool and all business when I fought. To be honest with you I didn’t really like to get a nickname to begin with but it kinda stuck and I thought ok, lets use it.
Asgard: Any clue on who your next opponent might be or when we will see you in the octagon again?
Kampmann: Right now, no clue. I’ll let you guys know… (smile)
Asgard: Who is your toughest opponent so far?
Kampmann: I think my toughest fight is Thales Leites. He was undefeated and I gave him his only loss. On paper it was a very tough fight and also the fight was a very tough fight.
Asgard: Who are your favourite fighters and biggest inspirations?
Kampmann: Randy Couture is one of my favourite fighters and he’s an inspiration having around the gym as well. GSP and Anderson Silva I also enjoy watching a lot. Fedor as well.
Asgard: What is your favourite technique?
Kampmann: I like the side choke a lot.
Asgard: What are you doing when you aren’t busy knocking or choking people out?
Kampmann: I like hanging out with my girlfriend, friends and family. I’ll like playing poker, paintball, shooting or just going out seeing new places..
Asgard: Thank you for your time and good luck in the future!
Name: Martin Kampmann
Record: 16 - 2 - 0 (Win - Loss - Draw)
Weight: 84 kg
Height: 188 cm
School: Extreme Couture/The Colosseum
2008-06-07 UFC 85 Win (submission) against Rivera Jorge
2007-03-03 UFC 68 ‘The Uprising’ Win (submission) against McFedries Andrew
2006-11-11 UFC: The Ultimate Fighter 4 Win (judges decision) against Leites Thales
2006-08-17 UFC Fight Night 6 Win (submission) against Wallace Crafton
2006-07-22 World Fighting Alliance Win (TKO) against Aguilar Edwin
2005-11-26 Cagewarriors Strike Force 4 ‘The Night of Champions’ Win (submission) against Riccio Damien
2005-07-16 Cagewarriors ‘Strike Force 2′ Win (submission) against Ewin Matt
2005-06-24 King of the Cage UK Win by KO against Seguin Brendan
2005-04-03 House of Pain Fight Night 2 Win (TKO) against Ewin Matt
2004-10-09 M-1 8 man tournament -85 kg Loss (TKO) against Semenov Andrey
2004-04-04 European Vale Tudo 2 ‘Hazard’ Win (disqualification) against Foupa-Pokam Xavier
2004-03-14 Battle of Copenhagen 2 & Neoblood 6 Win (submission) against Larsen Thomas
2003-12-06 European Vale Tudo ‘Genesis’ Win (TKO) against Vivas Tony
2003-11-09 XFC2 ‘The Perfect Storm’ Win by KO against Jones David
2003-09-06 Battle of Copenhagen & Neoblood 4 Win (submission) against Eriksson Anders
2003-02-15 VF3 ‘Rumble in the West’ Win (TKO) against Mannaerts Gert
2002-12-14 Swedish Championship 2002 & Neo Blood 2 Win (submission) against Rosfort Kenneth
2002-09-21 Fighter Extreme 2 Loss (judges decision) against Hagen Halvor
2002-06-08 Neoblood & Norwegian Shootfighting Championship 2002 Win (submission) against Richthoff Richard
2002-02-02 Fighter Open II Win (judges decision) against Nyang Ståle
2002-02-02 Fighter Open II Win (judges decision) against Lanci Emiliano
2002-02-02 Fighter Open II Win (judges decision) against Eklund Per
2001-11-24 Danish Shootfighting Championship 2001 Win (submission) against Viikari Mikko
1st place, Fight Back Submission Wrestling Tournament (2004), +77 kg
Superfight winner against Frederique Sinistra at Battle of the Vikings (Denmark, 4th of September 2004).