Another fight, another comeback for Martin Kampmann. Three months after canceling out a sure decision loss with a submission win in the fight's last minute, the Dane overcame a horrific start in his TUF Live Finale matchup with Jake Ellenberger, shaking off an early knockdown to earn a knockout win of his own.
The end came in the second round, shortly after Ellenberger had him in trouble with a flurry against the cage. Kampmann wobbled him with a short right, then threw a series of knees. The third one landed flush and Ellenberger went down against the cage. Kampmann went to follow up, but ref Steve Mazzagatti had seen enough and waved off the fight at 1:40 of the round.
"I saw an opportunity to finish and I just wanted to get him," Kampmann said afterward.
Ellenberger had been expected to have a power edge in the fight, and it appeared as though he did for most of the bout.
He got off to a blistering start, dropping Kampmann in the opening seconds of the fight with a left hook. He swarmed on the Danish fighter looking for the finish with ground strikes, but Kampmann held on and soon after was threatening with a guillotine that slowed down the attack against him. That gave him valuable recovery time as he made it into the second.
"I need to get punched to wake up," Kampmann said afterward.
The second started in similar fashion, with Ellenberger blasting his opponent with power right hands, one opening a gash across Kampmann's forehead. But showing his resilience, Kampmann would have his hand raised just moments later.
"I knew Martin would be a tough fight coming in," Ellenberger said. "He caught me. He had a better night."
The win snapped Ellenberger's six-fight win streak, as he dropped to 27-6. It was the first time he's ever been knocked out.
Kampmann is now 20-5, and during the broadcast, UFC play-by-play man Jon Anik indicated he may move into a top contender bout with Johny Hendricks, though that is yet unofficial.