Perennial top ten ranked welterweights Thiago Alves and Martin Kampmann headlined the UFC on FX 2 fight card in Sydney, Australia on Friday and did not disappoint.
Both are known for their striking abilities. The majority of the wins on their resumes have come by way of knockout. They were both coming off of wins trying to put together a streak. The match up had excitement written all over it.
The first round was back-and-forth. Kampmann utilized his wrestling early but won the striking exchanges. He landed a front kick to the face of Alves that had the American Top Team trained fighter in a bit of trouble. Alves secured a takedown midway through the stanza. He advanced to the mount position and rode out the round controlling Kampmann and landing elbows.
Alves found his range in the second frame. He began to let his hands go and connect in combinations. He fended off Kampmann’s takedown attempts and looked to be in complete control of the fight.
Kampmann came out aggressively in the final round, pressing forward and looking for a takedown. He couldn’t get one. Alves began to land heavier shots more frequently. He hurt Kampmann with a right hand late in the round and went in for the kill. Alves opted to go for a takedown, and with seconds left in the bout Kampmann locked on a guillotine choke and squeezed. Alves was forced to tap out.
“Thiago caught me with some good shots. I’ll be honest. He was catching me,” said Kampmann following the come-from-behind win.
“I wanted to strike with him but I wanted to take him down as well. He’s got really good takedown defense. He was really tough to take down. Usually when I get people on the fence I can get them down but he’s got good defense,” he added.
“I felt I was definitely behind. I was trying too much. I was eating too many punches going into the clinch,” continued Kampmann. “I have all the respect for Thiago. He’s a beast.”
Kampmann took the opportunity to request a rematch with interim champion Carlos Condit.
“I’ll fight anyone, but of course right now Carlos Condit has a target on his back. I’ve got a win over him. Since GSP (Georges St-Pierre) is out, he’s the one everybody is gunning for and I’d love to get a chance to fight him one more time. I know he’d want to get a chance to avenge that loss he has to me, so let’s go,” he said.
The win over Alves certainly moves Kampmann up the ladder in the stacked welterweight division. He’s now on a two-fight win streak, but likely a fight or two away from a title shot.