MMA Next: Nick Diaz vs. Martin Kampmann Makes a Lot of Sense
MMA Next is a feature on MMABoom that tries its hand at playing Joe Silva by picking out the next big fights to make in the UFC. Tune in following every major event as David Light does his best Ariel Helwani impression, and instigates all kinds of fights.
What’s Next For Nick Diaz?
UFC 158 was far from the best we’ve seen from welterweight Nick Diaz, and his consecutive losses inside the UFC make it hard to match him up with the right fighter going forward, but there is one man out there that seems to fit just perfectly.
His name is Martin Kampmann, and he does not like Nick Diaz.
Kampmann has been calling out Diaz for over a year now, and hasn’t been afraid to throw jabs at the former Strikeforce champion whenever the opportunity arises. While Diaz talked a lot about a potential retirement following his loss to Georges St-Pierre, he sounded game for the right fight should it be put in front of him, and Kampmann has all the trappings of the right opponent.
No fights lined up yet, but I would like to get one this summer against strikeforce champ Saffiedine or Diaz after gsp beats him up
— Martin Kampmann (@MartinKampmann) March 10, 2013
There’s no getting around the fact that as talented a fighter as Nick Diaz is, part of what made him such a big star in Strikeforce were the opponents selected for him. That’s not to say that Diaz was given a free ride in the promotion, just that all of his contests were against fighters that best allowed him to showcase his abilities on the feet.
Kampmann represents the type of technical striking and go-for-the-finish opponent that Diaz would not only enjoy fighting, but shine against. Diaz is at his best when he’s fighting an opponent that won’t go out of their way to hold him down, and is talented enough on the feet to take their chances standing. Both fighters are coming off of losses, but both are considered to be in the upper-echelon of the division, and even better, Kampmann has been goating Diaz into the fight for a while now.
Kampmann Has Wanted This Fight For a Long Time
Even going back as far as a year before Kampmann’s flash KO loss to Johny Hendricks back in November, he had a lot to say about Diaz. In an interview with MMA Sucka, he was particularly critical of a guy he said was “not that good” and a “punk.”
“Diaz is good at running his mouth and doing his thing… you know … being a punk. I would love to fight Nick Diaz sooner than later. I would absolutely love to fight him somewhere down the line.”
While pitting Diaz in a rematch against someone like Carlos Condit might make more sense ostensibly, let’s keep in mind that Condit still has business to settle with Rory MacDonald, and the UFC probably doesn’t want to put two great fighters like Diaz and Condit head-to-head while both are carrying a two-fight losing streak.
Kampmann provides just the sort of fight that has all the elements to not only sell a main card, but peak the interest of Diaz; there’s plenty of animosity, both fighters have proven they can and will finish opponents when the opportunity arises, and they both appear to have a pretty good shot at coming away with a victory.
Kampmann clearly wants the fight, the only question left is this: Does Diaz?