Kampmann outpoints Condit at UFN 18
Interview by David L. Hudson, Jr.
Photos courtesy of Josh Hodges, UFC
“Music City” played host to its first ever UFC event in the form of UFC Fight Night 18. When Tennessee legalized mixed martial arts in 2008, it was only a matter of time before the undisputed king of MMA – the UFC – would come to a market that craves and loves MMA action. The UFC came before a packed crowd of more than 10,000 at the Sommet Center. The Nashville market did not disappoint, as UFC Fight Night 18 set a Fight Night record with an attendance record of 10,267.
The card featured 11 bouts and included six decisions, four submissions, and one technical knockout. The red corner dominated the action, as 9 fighters from the red corner prevailed with only the only fighters in the blue corner Aaron Simpson the lone fighter in the blue corner to win his bout.
Bout #1 Aaron Simpson vs. Tim McKenzie
Aaron “A Train” Simpson, a former WEC stalwart, is known for his wrestling prowess, but he showed that he has power in his striking game in his UFC debut against friend and fellow Octagon debuting performer Tim “the Wrecking Machine” McKenzie. The southpaw McKenzie came out aggressively but took a left hand from Simpson, who later took McKenzie down. McKenzie popped up and the two settled into a stand-up game, circling each other. Simpson pounded McKenzie with a right hand and then overwhelmed his opponent with a series of right hand strikes. McKenzie showed heart and tried to roll over and avoid punishment, but Simpson was relentless with the right-hand bombs.
Referee Mario Yamasaki called a halt to the contest at 1:40 of the first round.
“Hats off to Tim; he’s a good friend of mine,” Simpson told Joe Rogan in the Octagon after the bout. “It was a little difficult [facing a friend].” Rogan asked Simpson about future opponents. “I’m a one match at a time type guy,” Simpson responded. “I’m just happy to be here standing next to you.”
If this initial performance is indicative of future bouts, UFC fans will be glad to have Simpson back in the Octagon soon.
Bout #2 Rob Kimmons vs. Joe Vedepo
The next bout featured another pair of middleweights – Rob “Rosedale Reaper” Kimmons against Joe “the Doctor” Vedepo. Bottom line, the "Reaper" put the "Doctor" to sleep.
The two traded right hands with Vedepo landing first. Vedepo landed another right hand and then pushed Kimmons up against the cage. He then took Kimmons down but Kimmons rose quickly and the two clinched and grappled against the fence.
Kimmons made a quick transition, placing Vedepo in a tight guillotine choke hold and put him to sleep. Kimmons nodded to the crowd before the fight ended, acknowledging his deep hold on his opponent. The bout ended at 1:54 of the first round.
UFC fight commentator Rogan called it “one of the deepest guillotines we’ve ever seen in the UFC.” No argument here.
Bout #3 Jorge Rivera v. Nissen Osterneck
The third bout featured a competitive affair between Jorge Rivera and Nissen Osterneck. This bout could have gone either way.
Round #1: Osterneck took Rivera down and tried for side control, but the experienced Rivera placed him in his guard. He then turned the tide and Osterneck was on his back, though he got up to his feet. Osterneck showed a good left leg kick He then tried a gogoplata choke but Rivera pulled through and escaped.
Rivera pushed Osterneck to the cage and landed a few knee strikes. He then swept his leg and took Osterneck down again, moving for side control but he remained in half-guard. Osterneck then spun and took control. He managed to land one good right hand from the standing position but Rivera proved elusive.
Fightnews score: Osterneck 10-9 (but a good, competitive round)
Round #2: Osterneck began with his kicks but Rivera moved in and attempted to slam Osterneck to the ground. Rivera pushed him to the cage. Osterneck spun Rivera to the cage and the two clinched and grappled with little ostensible damage on either side.
Rivera took Osterneck down and for a moment seemed ready for a rear mounted attack. But Oosterneck showing great mobility and quickly turned the tables. Rivera then stalked Osterneck. The two warriors appeared winded. Rivera pushes Osterneck to the cage and throws several body shots. The crowd boos and then Rivera unleashes a short right hand that drops Osterneck to the ground. Osterneck is effective in the guard, but Rivera uses his physical strength to control most of the remaining 40 seconds of the bout.
Fightnews score: Rivera 10-9
Round #3: Osterneck again leads with a kick and later tries to drive Rivera to the cage. Rivera lands a good left hook and then another. t appears the two then engage in a classic Muay Thai clinch.
A good exchange occurs with Jorge landing another good shot. He grabs Osterneck’s right leg and then the two are pressed against the cage. Osterneck moves in and tries several knee strikes but Rivera is tough. Rivera tries a flying knee and Osterneck looks gassed. “Steal it with a takedown,” yells Rivera’s corner. Osterneck lands knee strike.
This has split decision written all over it.
Fightnews score Rivera 10-9
Fightnews score: 29-28
Decision: All three judges scored it 29-28 for Rivera. Osterneck’s trainer said “you all know that was wrong” to media row as he walked past. “I want to thank God,” Rivera said. This has been a very difficult year for me.” [tragedy involving the fighter’s daughter] Rogan thanked Rivera for his courage during a personally difficult time. Well said.
Bout #4: Tim Credeur v. Nick Catone
The next bout features Ultimate Fighter Season 7 alum Tim “Crazy” Credeur against the undefeated Nick Catone. This was an excellent bout. If it was a boxing match, I think Catone would win, but the beauty of MMA is that there are so many ways to win – and lose.
Round #1: The two trade jabs in the center of the Octagon. Catone takes down Credeur but isn’t able to free his hands for any significant strikes. Credeur goes for an armbar and appears close but Catone to his credit manages to escape. Credeur is one dangerous dude on the ground.
Catone goes for side control and manages a decent right hand, while Credeur goes for a leg lock. They then both appear to go for heel hooks. Catone lands another good right hand but it is never safe against Croteur who appears to be always looking for submissions. Credeur then pulls Catone into guard. Catone tries a right elbow strike and appears to be inflicting more damages.
Fightnews score: Catone 10-9
Round #2: Catone lands a right front kick to the body and later lands a stiff left jab. Credeur needs work on his boxing skills, as he doesn’t keep his chin down and doesn’t throw quick punches. Credeur leads and then Catone counters with his quicker hands. Catone then lands another right kick. He appears to be clearly winning the stand-up game here.
The fight then hits the ground with Catone on top in side control. The muscular Catone appears to be the fresher of the two fighters. He lands a good right hand and Credeur doesn’t seem to be attempting as many submissions. Credeur then suddenly changes the course of the fight with with a quick move and puts Catone in a leg lock and then transitions to a guillotine. Catone taps and referee Mario Yamasaki stops the bout at 3:45 of the second round.
That was impressive. This writer had Catone winning the fight and controlling the action. If Credeur works on his stand-up game, he could be a contender at 185.
Rogan aptly noted to Credeur that people forget about dangerous he is on the ground. Creduer replied that he is “working as much as I can” and that it is a “lifelong dream to be in the UFC and I’m never going to stop working.”
Bout #5 : Brock Larson v. Jesse Sanders
The next bout features welterweights Irish Jesse “Iron Jaw” Sanders – a former Golden Gloves boxer – against the tough Brock Larson, a monster on the ground. Many MMA experts predicted this fight to be a mismatch – and it proved them correct.
Round #1: Sanders leads with a leg kick while the southpaw Larson tries to close the distance. He gets his arms around Sanders and tries to throw him. He then takes him down and moves into side control. He then takes his back and moves in with a rear naked choke guillotine. Sanders escapes temporarily but then Larson unloads on Sanders with a series of hooks. Larson looks momentarily at referee Herb Dean to stop the bout at 2:01.
Sanders is tough but then Larson puts him in another rear naked choke. This time Sanders taps and referee Dean stops the contest.
“I’m as happy as hell to be back [in the UFC],” Larson told Rogan. He looks like he could make some noise in the 170lb division.
Bout # 6: Ricardo Almeida v. Matt Horwich
The “Big Dog” bit his game opponent, as Ricardo “Big Dog” Almeida proved too tough for a very game and tough veteran in Matt “Suave” Horwich.
Round #1: Horwich advanced quickly but Almeida pushes him to the ground and against the cage. Almeida attempts a knee strike. In a clinch in the center of the ring, Horwich attempts two knee strikes. The crowd grows restless. Almeida grabs Horwich’s left leg, but Horwich shows good balance and retreats to the cage.
‘The two break and then move back to the center of the ring. Almeida lands a good right hand but Horwich takes it well. Almeida finally throws Horwich to the ground, but horwich defends well again. Almeida then lands a guillotine choke. Horwich attempts a heel hook, while Almeida spins repeatedly to try to extricate himself – a very interesting exchange. Clearly, Almeida took the round.
Fightnews score: Almeida 10-9
Round #2: Almeida gets Horwich on this back quickly and moves for side control. Horwich attempts to place Almeida in guard but can’t control him. Almeida stands up and throws a couple strikes with fierce intentions but doesn’t inflict much damage. Horwich shows good defense at fending off Almeida’s ground assault but doesn’t inflict any damage himself. Almeida stands up again and lands a couple heavy shots, including an elbow. He is unloading well with Horwich answering with one up kick. Almeida continues to dictate and control the fight.
The two stand up and Almeida throws a good combination. Horwich manages to move the action to the ground and attempts a choke but Almeida fends it off and returns to the posture of the aggressor. He throws Horwich to the ground.
Fightnews score: Almeida 10-9
Round #3: Horwich advances but Almeida scores another takedown quickly. Horwich is a tough fighter but is clearly losing. To his credit, he pushes Almeida to the cage and then tries to take Almeida down. Almedia lands a couple good jabs and then moves quickly to take the action to the ground. He lands a good right hand but Horwich is a slippery fellow with good defense.
The crowd yells for the referee to stand the fighters up. The crowd boos as the two grapple while standing near the cage. The referee finally breaks the two fighters and they move back to the center. Almeida is effective with quick leg takedowns that move the fight to where he wants it to take place. Almeida lands a right hand followed by a left hook but Horwich takes it well, rolling with the punches.
Almeida throws Horwich down, yelling for effect. This is a clear unanimous 30-27 decision.
Fightnews score: Almeida 10-9
Fightnews final score: 30-27
In a mere formality, Bruce Buffer announces that all three judges score the bout 30-27. “I knew that I had to work on my stand-up,” Almeida told Rogan. “Matt is one of the best conditioned guys in the sport and I felt that I was just as fresh as he was. It was a good test.”
Bout #7 Gleison Tibau Jeremy Stephens
Tibau the southpaw advances against the orthodox Stephens. Tibau pushes Stephens to the cage and Tibeua goes for a takedown but Stephens thwarts it and nearly lands a decapitating knee strike to the head. Stephens throws a body kick. Tibau goes for a takedown and almost gains control, but Stephens is matching him in the strength department.
Stephens tries a right uppercut, left hook combination. Tibau avoids it and then scores a take down and attempts to mount him. Tibau positions for attempted side control and then finds himself in Stephens’ guard. Stephens tries an armbar from a defensive position, while Tibau lands several shots while they are on the ground.
Fightnews score: Tibau 10-9
Round #2: Stephens throws a wild right hand lead with bad intentions. The action slows. Tibau nearly grabs Stephens’ leg kick and then moves quickly across the cage to take dominant position on the ground. Tibau moves for side control. Stephens tries to secure him in guard, but Tibau moves back to side control. As they move back up to their feet, Stephens nearly lands a decapitating left hook – Tibau smiles in return.
Tibau is an effective grappler, dictating the pace of the fight. He throws Stephens to the ground. Tibau keeps Stephens on the ground and shows excellent strength. He tries an arm triangle choke but Stephens manages to escape. Tibau has clearly won the first two rounds. Stephens needs a knockout.
Fightnews score: Tibau 10-9
Round #3: Stephens moves forward and throws his hands up, apparently asking Tibau to engage. Tibau moves to the clinch and pushes Stephens to the cage. Tibau then moves for a leg takedown. Stephens sprawls and tries to stay on his feet.
Stephens rushes in to try a leaping leg kick. Almeida anticipates and leaps forward and takes Stephens down. He mounts Stephens and then moves to side control. He tries an elbow strike. In Stephens’ guard, Tibau tries several strikes. Stephens tries to rise and Tibua attempts a choke. Stephens attempts several flying knees but Tibau is a tough grappler. Tibau should win a unanimous decision.
Fightnews score: Tibau 10-9
Final score: Tibau 30-27
The two show mutual respect after the bout. Buffer announces the decision – a unanimous decision for Tibau. Two judges score it properly as 30-27, while one judge mysteriously scores it 29-28. Tibau has know won two in a row in the Octagon in 2009.
Bout #8: Cole Miller v. Junie Browning
The battle between Ultimate Fighter alums attracted attention, primarily to the trash talking of the colorful Browning. Miller insisted in pre-fight interviews that Browning posed no threat to him in any department. He turned out to be right. Miller also said that he would stop Browning in the second round. He was wrong – he stopped Browning in the first round.
Round #1: Browning, despite his vigorous trash talking, initiates the touching of gloves at the beginning. The two then circle around, attempting to probe for openings. Miller attempts a few kicks and then tries a fierce uppercut. Browning takes Miller’s back. Miller fires an elbow and then the two stand up. Miller executes a beautiful guillotine choke. He jumps up and moves his trapped opponent to the ground, creating greater torque and deepens the choke hold. Browning taps and referee Herb Dean stops the contest at 1:58 of the first round.
Miller then taunts Browning – “Who’s overrated now?” [Miller told Joe Rogan what he said immediately after the fight] - after finishing him, yelling at him after pulling out his mouthpiece.
“I would really like to the winner of Spencer Fisher and Carol Uno at UFC 97.” Miller said. He said he dedicated the fight to the late Charles “Mast” Lewis Jr., the co-founder of Tapout.
Bout #9: Tyson Griffin v. Rafael Dos Anjos
The next fight featured fan favorite Tyson Griffin – known for his exciting style – one that has earned him much extra money on four separate UFC cards for “Fight of the Night” bonus awards. Griffin enters the ring with a record of 12-2 with both of his losses by decision.
Round #1: The two fighter exchange leg kicks. Griffin lands a lead right hand and then another as Dos Anjos charges him. The lead right hand is working against Dos Anjos the southpaw. Griffin lands another leg kick to his opponent’s thigh. Dos Anglos moves to his right away from Griffin’s powerful right hand, but Tyson manages to hit him twice more and take him down.
Dos Anjos tries a few submissions and as they roll on the ground, nearly sinks in a tough choke. Griffin survives a scary moment and then comes out firing as usual. Dos Anglos tries a flying knee and appears more comfortable in the ring. Griffin still did more damage through the bulk of the round.
Fightnews score: Griffin 10-9
Round #2: Dos Angos lands a good left hand that nearly drops Griffin. Griffin still moves forward, attempting to land kicks and his right hand bombs. Dos Angos attempts to shoot in for a takedown, but Griffin stuffs it.
Griffin lands a good right kick to the head. The crowd enjoys this stand-up slugfest. Griffin lands a good right hand and then goes for a takedown, trying to lift Dos Angos’ leg. Griffin eats a serious punch for his efforts. Griffin wobbls Dos Anglos with a right hand bomb and then jumps forward to inflict more damage. Dos Anglos tries to fend off Griffin pushing him against the cage. The crowd roars its approval for this slugfest.
Fightnews score: Griffin 10-9
Round #3: Griffin lands another right hand to open the third and final round. Griffin advances forward, throwing two body shots. Dos Angos continues to move to his right and lands a few shots of his own. Griffin lands another leg kick. Griffin goes for an uppercut haymaker.
Griffin continues to be the aggressor, looking to kayo his opponent, who now sports a bloody face. Griffin is finding a home for the kicks to the legs. Both fighters are going for a knockout. Griffin tries to take Dos Anjos down and pounds away at his opponent’s body. Dos Anjos severely twists back Griffin’s arm, the powerhouse bulls through the submission attempt. Griffin should take this exciting fight by unanimous decision.
Fightnews score: Griffin 10-9
Final score: Griffin 30-27
Buffer announces the decision. All three judges score the bout 30-27. “I thought his strength was on the ground so I wanted to keep the fight standing up,” Griffin said after the bout. Griffin could be on his way to winning his fifth “Fight of the Night” honors – depending on what happens in the last two bouts. [It was announced after the card that Griffin did win “Fight of the Night” honors].
Bout #10 : Ryan Bader v. Carmelo Marrero
Undefeated Ultimate Fighter 8 winner Ryan Bader enters the ring to face Carmelo Marrero – a fighter who holds a win over heavyweight contender Cheick Kongo in his UFC debut several year ago.
Round #1: Bader throws a lead right and then shoots in for a takedown. He positions to try to implement the ground and pound. Marrero tries to control him in his guard but Bader moves outward for side control. Later Marrero gets him in the guard. Bader transitions to an armbar submission attempt but Marrero escapes.
Marrero then gets on top inside Bader’s guard. Marrero lands a good elbow to the face. Bader again takes Marrero down and moves to the side, trying to pound with elbow strikes. The two trade leg kicks and then Bader goes for a takedown, pushing Marrero back to the cage.
Bader keeps the fight on the ground but doesn’t inflict much damage. Still he does enough to win the round.
Fightnews score: 10-9 Bader
Round #2: Marrero lands a left jab and later a straight right hand. The fight hits the ground with surprise – Bader in control. The two roll with Bader in command, looking to unleash his ground and pound attack. Marrero tries to take the fight to his feet, but Bader takes his back and attempts to work in position to sink in a choke or land shots to the sides. Marrerro manages to escape again but Bader still has him in his grasp. The crowd boos, wanting more definitive action.
Bader works Marrero over on the ground, landing a few strikes. Marrero hangs in there. Bader’s wrestling skills are certainly on display, though he won’t be winning any fight of the night honors.
Fightnews score: 10-9 Bader
Round #3: Marrero attempts a leg kick to the head and then to the legs. He may sense he needs a knockout or submission to win the bout. Marrero lands a jab. Marrero throws a left hook. Bader ducks and dives in and takes the fight to the ground – his stomping ground (so to speak).
Bader nearly sinks in a choke too deep for Marrero to recover, but Marrero proves he’s a survivor. Bader lands an elbow while in Marrero’s guard. The referee forces them to stand. Bader shoots in for a takedown, but Marrero thwarts it.
Bader controls the rest of the action and should win a unanimous 30-27 decision.
Fightnews score: 10-9
Final Fightnews score: 30-27
Predictably, all three judges scored the bout 30-27 – no surprise there. “So-so,” Bader said of his performance. “I’m looking to transition a little better and will work on a my stand-up game.” Bader – like Cole Miller – also dedicated his performance to Mask.
In the post-fight conference, Bader revealed that
Bout #11: Carlos Condit v. Martin Kampmann
Bruce Buffer bellowed out his “It’s Time” phrase to the delight of the Music City crowd, who eagerly anticipated watching the main event between former WEC champion Carlos Condit against Martin Kampmann.
Round #1: Condit lands a jab and attempts leg kick to Kampmann’s head. The two grapple, each looking to put their hooks in for a throw. Kampmann manages to throw Condit to the ground and then presses the advantage. Kampmann then attempts a choke, but Condit escapes and puts in his own choke hold.
Kampmann rises to his feet, but Condit throws him to the ground. Condit raises his knee to Kampmann’s body. Kampmann then tries to assert control and ends up in the raised position. He tries to free his hands for ground and pound, but Condit escapes. Kampmann then tries a leg bar, but Condit – an experienced grappler – escapes and then moves on top. This is good action.
The two finally stand, and it is revaled that Kampmann has a nasty cut under his left eye most likely from a nasty Condit elbow. Condit lands a straight right hand. The two hit the ground again. Kampmann nearly obtains a guillotine choke. Condit later said he heard the ten-second pounding on the mat and just held his breath for 10 seconds. Still, :Condit controlled most of the round.
Fightnews score: Condit 10-9
Round #2: The two trade kicks. They grapple and try to throw each other to the ground. Kampmann moves on top in Condit’s guard. Kampmann throws a punch to the face and later lands a stiff left. He later tries to land an elbow strike. Condit appears quite comfortable on his back. Kampmann tries to ground and pound, but Condit is adept at striking off his back.
The two stand up and the action continues. Condit tries a flying knee. He lands a good right front kick to Kampmann’s face, but the Hitman is proving tough. Condit turns southpaw. The two hit the ground, with Kampmann trying to sink in a choke. It appears tight but Condit escapes and then tries to put Kampmann in a rear naked choke. This is great action, as this time it is Kampmann who escapes.
Kampmann lands some tough shots near the end of the round, perhaps taking the round with that last flurry.
Fightnews score: Kampmann 10-9 (very close round)
Round #3: Kampmann claims he was poked in the eye and referee Herb Dean halts the action. A ringside doctor examines the eye and allows the action to continue. In a clinch, they both display their Muay Thai skills. On the ground, Kampmann ends on top, but has trouble freeing his hands to strike. Condit again shows his comfort at fighting off his back. Kampmann lands a hard straight right hand as he stood up and lowered the boom with a right hand. He lands another bomb.
Condit needs to turn the tide. The two roll around with Kampmann again on top in Condit’s guard. With 1:40 to go, Kampmann is controlling the round. Condit lands an up kick but Kampmann is relentless in his attack. At the very end of the bout, Condit lands a guillotine but there is not enough time to obtain a submission.
Kampmann clearly wins the third round and Condit clearly won the first round. The fight hangs in the balance on the scoring of the second round. This could easily be a split decision or a draw.
Fightnews score: Kampmann 10-9
Fightnews score: Kampmann 29-28
The judges award the bout via split decision to Martin Kampmann. Judges Doug Crosby and Nelson Hamilton scored it 29-28 for Kampmann, while Cecil Peoples scored it 29-28 for Condit.
Hamilton gave Condit the first round and the other two rounds to Kampmann. Peoples gave the two rounds to Condit and the third to Kampmann. Crosby scored the first and third rounds to Kampann, but gave the second round to Condit. The bottom line was that Kampmann won the bout in the third round, while the judges split on the first two rounds.
All three judges scored that final round for Kampmann. .
“It felt like the elbow,” Kampmann said when asked what caused the nasty cut. “”That was a great fight. Carlos is a true warrior.”
. . . .
David L. Hudson Jr. is a feature writer for Fightnew.com, a licensed boxing judge and the author of the soon-to-be-released Combat Sports: An Encyclopedia of Wrestling, Fighting and Mixed Martial Arts. http://www.greenwood.com/catalog/GR4383.aspx