SAN JOSE, CA - NOVEMBER 18: (L-R) Welterweight opponents Martin Kampmann and Rick Story are separated by UFC president Dana White as they face off after weighing in during the UFC 139 Weigh In at the HP Pavilion on November 18, 2011 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
In a Welterweight fight at UFC 139: Henderson vs. Rua, Martin Kampmann (17-5; 8-4 UFC) faces Rick Story (13-4; 6-2 UFC). This is the second fight on the PPV portion of the card. Both men are ranked in the Welterweight top 25 according to the USA Today/BE Consensus Rankings, where Story sits at #9, Kampmann at #14. The PPV card airs on Saturday at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.
This Welterweight match-up could help one man get on track towards a possible future title shot. Both Kampmann and Story have found themselves moving close to title contention at times, but both come into this fight after having suffered unfortunate setbacks in the Octagon. There's a solid pack of fringe contenders at 170, and a win here will help one of these men distinguish himself from the pack. While both men are good all-around fighters, this is also a classic striker vs. grappler match-up, with Kampmann favoring stand-up and Story favoring wrestling.
How do these two stack up?
Kampmann: 29 years old | 6'0" | 72" reach Story: 27 years old | 5'10" | 71" reach
Martin Kampmann is a UFC veteran who has found himself close to the top on a number of occasions, but never been able to get over that final hill. He started his career at Middleweight, going 13-1 overall and 4-0 in the UFC before falling to Nate Marquardt at UFC 88. After that loss, he dropped down to Welterweight, where he put together a 4-1 record and looked poised to make a run at the belt. He faced Jake Shields in Shields's UFC debut, and lost the fight in a close and controversial split decision. Kampmann followed that up with a fight with Diego Sanchez, again losing a close and highly contested decision. A lot of people think Kampmann should be 6-1 at Welterweight and a top contender, not coming in on a 2 fight losing streak. We'll see how that frustration impacts Kampann as he faces Story.
Rick Story had similar frustration in his last fight. Story scored a breakout win at UFC 130, defeating former title challenger Thiago Alves via decision and bringing his record up to 13-3. He was set to face Nate Marquardt on Versus, but when Marquardt was fired from the UFC shortly before the event, Story found himself facing Charlie Brenneman. Brenneman took advantage of the quick turnaround and defeated Story via decision. It's a weird situation, where neither man had the time to properly prepare for the correct opponent, but it has slowed Story's momentum a bit. He'll look to get back on track here.
Why should you care?
As is a theme on this card, this is a super close fight. Both men also come in with something to prove, and showed it at a fired up weigh-in yesterday, which should translate to a fiercely contested battle.
More UFC 139 preview coverage from Bloody Elbow after the jump.
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