Martin Kampmann (20-7) has hovered around the top of the UFC's welterweight division for several years, but his consecutive KO/TKO losses to Carlos Condit and Johny Hendricks leave him far back in the title picture. He is unquestionably one of the most consistently exciting fighters in the division (if not the UFC), but his return to action won't be coming any time soon. In an interview with MMA Junkie, Kampmann said he's taking a break from MMA:
"I'm just taking a long break. No rush to get back in the cage. Let my body recover and get good.
"I enjoy fighting, but I've just had my 10-year anniversary as a professional fighter," Kampmann said. "I feel a little burned out right now. That's why I'm taking a break. I don't want to get in there unless I feel like it. I love training, I love fighting, but I want to have the fire again to go in. If I don't have the fire, then I think that means I need to take a break.
But the most revealing part of his interview is his handling of past concussions. Kampmann has lost by KO or TKO 5 of his 7 defeats, and that doesn't include knockdowns and moments of wobbliness suffered against the likes of Diego Sanchez, Thiago Alves, Jake Ellenberger, and Drew McFedries:
"I've had my share of concussions, and sometimes I didn't take the correct amount of time, and that catches up to you," Kampmann said. "I feel OK. I've been better, but I feel I want to take a break. That's why I'm taking a break."
That's definitely a telling quote from someone who is fast approaching 11 years in the sport. Kampmann has absorbed plenty of punishment over the years, and his defensive liabilities have been exploited on numerous occasions in fights against established top 10 fighters (and the brick-fisted Paul Daley). It's highly unlikely that even with Georges St-Pierre out of the equation in the long-term that he'll be able to sneak back into a potential title shot.
Kampmann, who is still placed 10th in the UFC's official rankings, also gave his thoughts on the divisional scene with Georges St-Pierre currently out of the picture as he's on his own extended break from the sport:
"There's a big shakeup [in the welterweight division], and that also gives the desire to come in and fight again," Kampmann said. "I've been close to the top several times, but I've been able to maintain a top ranking for a lot of years. I've fought a lot of tough guys."
Hopefully Kampmann can enjoy his self-imposed time off and doesn't rush himself back into fighting too soon.
- Daily MMA 01/09: Ronda Rousey on being inspired by Fedor Emelianenko, wants 'to have 57 of his babies'
- James Te Huna is the latest fighter to drop down to 185
- Former UFC fighter Matt Grice talks recovery from traumatic car accident
- Luiz Dutra apologizes again, guns for Kunimoto rematch in Brazil
- UFC women's champ Ronda Rousey doesn't believe Miesha Tate's handshake offer was sincere