LAS VEGAS -- Martin Kampmann has a plan for UFC 154.
It starts with knocking out Johny Hendricks in the co-main event -- a logical place to start.
This is where the plan gets a little ... unique.
“I’m just going to knock Johny out and stay in the [Octagon],” Kampmann told ESPN.com. “That makes it easier. I’ll just stay in there. One of them will have to fight me.”
It’s likely the good folks of the Bell Centre security team in Montreal will eventually remove Kampmann from the cage. But you get the point.
The soft-spoken welterweight believes a win over Hendricks elevates him to the top of the division -- now.
Should Condit upset St-Pierre in the main event, Kampmann might get his wish. Other than an immediate rematch with the Canadian (depending on how the fight goes), Kampmann would likely be first in line to challenge Condit for the title. He is responsible for Condit’s only loss in the Octagon, a split decision in 2009.
If St-Pierre wins, it’s not as easy. The UFC appears focused on promoting a superfight between St-Pierre and middleweight champion Anderson Silva in 2013.
Kampmann acknowledges he has something to gain if that fight falls through but said if a superfight does take place, it should be between Silva and light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
“I think [St-Pierre] is going to get knocked out. That’s my honest answer,” said Kampmann, on what would happen in a Silva-St-Pierre fight. “Everything aside, I’d much rather see Anderson Silva fight Jon Jones. [Silva] is calling out the smaller guy. I’d like to see him fight Jon Jones. I think that’s a much more interesting fight, and that’s not just from my personal perspective. It’s also from a fan’s perspective.”
Kampmann (20-5) said he understands everything starts with the first part of his plan: beating Hendricks. He is well aware of how dangerous his opponent this month is. The two used to train with each other in Las Vegas.
They were never best friends but were close enough that Kampmann stored an extra bed he owned at Hendricks’ house because there was no room for it in his apartment. They are definitely familiar.
Kampmann said he can’t afford another slow start like the one he overcame in a win over Jake Ellenberger. Whereas he knew he had to weather a storm with Ellenberger, Kampmann said Hendricks is dangerous at all times.
“He’s a very strong guy with knockout power,” Kampmann said. “Combine that with some of the best wrestling pedigree in the UFC and you’re bound to succeed.
“I know this opponent way better than a lot of others I’ve had. I feel confident going into the fight. At the same time, you can change a lot in a couple years, so I’m not coming in with the mindset of ‘this is how Johny fights.’ I have to come in with an open mind and be ready for whatever.”