UFC President Dana White recently stated that former Strikeforce and EliteXC standout Jake Shields (25-4-1) will likely get the next shot at UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre if Shields gets past Martin Kampmann (17-3) at UFC 121. So as you might expect, Kampmann thinks he’ll have earned a title shot of his own if he beats Shields on Oct. 23 in Anaheim, Calif.
“I feel I’ve been working my way up too,” Kampmann said today during a UFC 121 media call. “If Jake can get a title shot beating me, I should get a title shot beating him as well.”
Shields has an impressive list of victories, including wins over former UFC fighters Dan Henderson, Paul Daley, and Robbie Lawler. But Kampmann is no slouch either, going 4-1 in the UFC’s middleweight division before moving down to 170. His only loss at welterweight came against Paul Daley, but he’s pulled off two wins in a row since, notably a dominant decision win over Paulo Thiago.
Most expect Shields, one of MMA’s best grapplers, to have a considerable advantage on the mat. But Kampmann, a polished striker, has a strong, underrated grappling game.
His wrestling was particularly effective in his win over former WEC champ Carlos Condit in April 2009. Kampmann has also defeated two Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belts — Thiago and Thales Leites.
“I feel confident in my ground game as well,” Kampmann said.
If you think Kampmann has been overlooked, you’re not alone. In fact, as you might expect, pretty much everyone overlooked Kampmann during the media gathering, which featured UFC heavyweight Brock Lesnar, Cain Velasquez, and Shields. After a steady 30 to 45 minutes of questions for Lesnar and Velasquez, one reporter asked Kampmann about the fight with Shields.
“Oh. I was falling asleep,” Kampmann joked.
If Shields wants his shot at GSP, he definitely better not sleep on Kampmann.