Shields vs. Kampmann Pick
The co-main event of Saturday’s UFC 121: Lesnar vs. Velasquez is a welterweight contest between Jake Shields and Martin Kampmann.
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Shields, the former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion, is favored to win the bout in his UFC debt as he has a betting line of -260 according to online sports book BroburySports.com while Kampmann has a line of +200. Here is a closer look at both fighters heading into this bout, which will take place from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California at 10PM ET on Pay Per-View.
Jake Shields (25-4-1):
Strengths: Shields is one of the best grappling fighters in the world as he has tremendous submission skills with 10 of his wins coming by submission. He was the former EliteXC welterweight champion and left Strikeforce as their reigning Middleweight champion, defeating Dan Henderson by decision in his final bout. Now, he moves back down in weight to challenge for the UFC welterweight title in the future if he can get past Kampmann.
Weaknesses: While his grappling is strong, his stand up striking is something left to be desired. He struggles against better strikers, especially if he can’t get them down to the ground. Henderson nearly finished Shields in the first round of their fight, but he weathered the storm and managed to control the fight on the ground. Also, Shields is making his UFC debut, which has affected other fighters in the past, and he suffered a minor back injury while making the weight cut, as he hasn’t fought at 170 pounds in some time. The injury and fatigue could be an issue with his cardio come fight night.
Martin Kampmann (17-3):
Strengths: Kampmann is a well-rounded fighter that is very aggressive. He has good power in his strikes and has a solid wrestling base along with respectable submission skills. He has had just three fights in his career go to a decision as he likes to make things decisive. Kampmann is somewhat like the welterweight’s version of Nate Marquardt as he is big for the weight class, strong, and well-rounded.
Weaknesses: Where Kampmann has struggled is against very solid strikers. All three of the losses in his career came against guys that were able to land big strikes against him to slow him down. In his last two losses, the fight was stopped despite the fact that Kampmann was on his feet when the fight ended. He was just overwhelmed by strikes.
Who will win: Shields is very tough, but I think Kampmann has the perfect style to defeat him in his UFC debut. For one, the pressure is all on Shields. Kampmann has nothing to lose as everyone is already penciling in Shields vs. Georges St. Pierre in 2011. But, Kampmann is the better striker and his grappling ability should be able to give Shields problems. Add the fact that Kampmann has a very intelligent camp at Xtreme Couture, and he should come in with a good game plan to earn a decision victory in an upset.
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