It’s been two and a half years since Martin Kampmann last stepped foot in the Octagon, and he’s now officially called it quits on his MMA career.
The longtime welterweight made his retirement official in an interview with UFC.com, and though it’s taken a while to make the statement itself, he said he’s known his decision for quite some time.
“I’ve known for a while,” Kampmann said. “I just haven’t really made it official. I’m not sure why… You never know [if that little voice will call you back]. But I’ve known for a while that I’m not going to be fighting anymore. Sometimes it’s tough to make it official.”
The 33-year-old first appeared in the UFC in August of 2006, and compiled an 11-6 mark in the organization over a seven-year run. Kampmann scored several highlight-reel finishes throughout his run, and was an entertaining competitor to the end. However, things ended in violent and brutal fashion for him in his final two appearances, getting knocked out by Johny Hendricks in November of 2012 before Carlos Condit beat him up in August of 2013.
“I had ups and downs, had some great wins and also had some tough losses, but that’s the name of the game,” Kampmann said. “It’s a volatile game. You can have big up swings and also tough losses. But every fight, I always came to fight and I tried to finish the fights. I’ve never been one of the guys that just tried to squeak out a boring win. I went in there to fight. Sometimes that can bite you in the ass too, if you come in with a good game plan but then take a punch and you get too emotional and you want to fight. But I definitely had that desire inside to put on a fight, and I think that showed in my fights.
“I had a lot of good fights. Some of the good fights that the fans tell me they enjoyed the most are the fights where I’ve been in really bad trouble and came back. I was really hurt, knocked down, and I came back from the brink of defeat to win. But those are not the fights I preferred to have. (Laughs) I preferred to come in and have a good, dominant performance. But those other fights are the ones that the fans remember, when I was close to defeat and when I had to dig deep and come back and win.”
Penick’s Analysis: This is something he’s talked about in the last year, but hadn’t at that point made the decision, so this just brings things to an official end. He took a lot of damage throughout his career – doled out a ton himself as well – and he’s moved on to some coaching gigs and away from active competition. He had a really solid run in the sport, as not many make it to 17 fights in the UFC; add in some main event appearances and a number of memorable moments, and that’s better than most achieve.
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