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UFC 108 Preview: Martin Kampmann Returns to Action Against Jacob Volkmann

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Jacob_volkmann_vs_martin_kampmann__medium In the second tilt airing on Spike TV at 9:00 PM EST on Saturday, Danish kickboxer Martin Kampmann (15-3, 6-2 UFC) will make his return to the Octagon following his disappointing knockout loss to Britain's Paul Daley against Minnesota Martial Arts Academy-trained prospect Jacob "Christmas" Volkmann (9-1, 0-1 UFC). Kampmann, as mentioned before, recently lost his opportunity to attain a title shot against champion Georges St. Pierre after losing to Daley at UFC 103. His original opponent, Mike Swick, had to pull out of their previously scheduled bout due to injury. Volkmann is coming off a debut loss to Paulo Thiago at UFC 106.

One of the interesting conversations that has arose as UFC 108 has approached in regards to this match-up is whether Jacob Volkmann can live up to the hype that surrounded him before his battle with Paulo Thiago. Much of the blogosphere including myself bought into the stories that Volkmann's wrestling could be absolutely dominating and explosive, but Paulo Thiago showed a side of his game that we hadn't yet seen. He actually improved significantly as a striker, and he worked over Volkmann with ease by using straight jabs combined with overhands. Add in Paulo's highly-touted Brazilian jiu-jitsu credentials, and you're looking at a recipe for success that Volkmann was unable to crack.

Unfortunately for Volkmann, his opponent's style isn't going to help him gain any significant advantages in this fight either. Volkmann's striking and chin were exposed quite frequently by the Brazilian at UFC 106, but Kampmann's heavy-handed striking and kickboxing combination could be even more devastating to the Minnesota-native than anything Thiago offered.

Volkmann's success will likely come from a controlling top game on the floor with Kampmann being heavily ineffective in his jiu-jitsu ground game. The only problem with that conclusion is that Kampmann isn't an ineffective ground fighter by any means, and we can take one look at his bout with Carlos Condit as evidence to that.

I won't go too heavily into details in this match-up. Kampmann should have a heavy advantage in the striking department against Volkmann, and he should be able to sprawl and brawl or grapple with Volkmann on the bottom to escape any dangers. Volkmann could have a future if he can improve his striking, but I'm a bit hesitant to believe another Brock Larson-type of fighter is going to make waves at the top of the divison. I'll take Martin Kampmann via TKO.

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