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Martin Kampmann Unfazed By Recent UFC 103 Opponent Switch

Prior to UFC 72, Martin Kampmann was on the verge of fighting Rich Franklin for a future shot at middleweight champion Anderson Silva. However, a knee injury forced him to withdraw from the bout. Since then, the 27-year-old worked his way up the welterweight division. He was supposed to fight Mike Swick at UFC 103 for a shot at current 170-pound champion Georges St-Pierre, but Swick pulled out late last week after suffering a concussion in training.

Kampmann (15-2) will now face UFC newcomer Paul Daley (21-8-2) on Sept. 19, but as he recently told FanHouse, no title shot will be on the line. Still, the Danish-born fighter, who most recently defeated Carlos Condit at UFC Fight Night 18 in April, is just excited to return to action. Check out the full interview below.

Ariel Helwani: When did you find out that Mike Swick had to pull out of the fight?
Martin Kampmann: I found out, I think it was, Thursday night.

Considering how much was on the line, what were the thoughts going through your mind?
Oh, I was very bummed. First, I just heard that Swick pulled out, so I didn't anything about [a new] opponent yet, but they said would try to get a replacement. I was very bummed out. I was looking forward to fighting Swick and there was a title shot on the line, too. Of course it sucks. That was a fight I was looking forward to.

Swick has already said that he would be ready to fight in October. Would you have rather waited to fight him then so you can get the title shot?
No, I'm ready to fight right now. I'll fight Paul Daley -- I'm happy he stepped in. After I beat him, I'll fight Swick.

Is the No. 1 contender spot still on the line?
I think it's just a regular fight. I don't think there's a contendership status anymore. Paul Daley is a tough a** fighter, but you know, he don't have the same recognition that Swick does here in the U.S. He hasn't made the same kind of name for himself in the UFC, so not to take anything away from him, because he's a real tough guy and dangerous opponent, so I'm not underestimating him, but he don't have the same name recognition.

It seems as though some are interested in seeing Swick fight Matt Hughes next, and he recently tweeted about that. Do you think he may be looking past you now?
Maybe it's because Matt Hughes is a big name and he's the former champ. But he's not the same guy he used to be, and maybe Swick thinks he can beat him. Maybe he don't want to fight me because he knows I'm a tough fight.

Is it hard to get excited about this fight because you aren't fighting Swick and the title shot isn't on the line anymore?
No. You know, I was bummed out when I heard, but I'm over it now and I'm ready to go. I'm looking forward to fighting Paul Daley.

When the UFC offered you a fight against TJ Grant in May, you told me it was a lose-lose situation for you because not many people knew who he was. Do you feel the same way about this fight?
I don't know. I've been training hard for a fight, so I would be really bummed to not have an opponent after I've already had such a long, hard training camp. It wasn't like I was in a training camp when I got the other fight offered. It was on fairly short notice, and now it's just a guy pulling out. You know, injuries happen, and I don't know what happened to Swick, but of course it sucks for him and it sucks for me too. But I think Paul Daley has a good name outside of the UFC. He's got a good name in the European circuit where I fought earlier too, and he's still got some kind of good name over here. He's fought in EliteXC and a lot of the other shows. He's a tough guy and not to be underestimated. But of course I think Swick would be a better name to beat.

Do you plan on watching a lot of tape on Daley leading up to the fight?
Yeah. I'm going to study a little bit of his stuff. They're similar in regards to they're both really good strikers and heavy-handed. So in that regard, they're similar. But of course, one guy is a tall guy, another guy is a short guy, and they do different stuff, different moves. Daley kicks a lot more than Swick does, but on the other hand, he probably has a bit of a weaker ground game than Swick does. So you know, the fight is a little different, so I'm going to switch it up.

In Daley's most famous fight against Jake Shields on CBS last October, Shields showed that he has some work to do on his ground game. Are you hoping to exploit that, as well?
If I get him down, I definitely feel like I got a big advantage. You know, people say that Paul Daley don't have a ground game; I think he has a ground game. You know, when you're fighting against Shields, he's a jiu-jitsu black belt with a great ground game. It's easy to make other guys look stupid because his ground game is really good. So I definitely expect Paul Daley to have a ground game, as well. I just think it's not as developed as his striking game is.

Daley likes to talk a lot of trash. Do you expect to hear some of that in the next 10 days or so?
Yeah, he'll probably talk trash. But if he's got a big mouth and wants to talk trash, let him do it. It's not going to help in him in the ring.

You're from Denmark and he's from England. We don't often see marquee fights pitting two European fighters in the UFC. Does that make this fight seem extra special for you?
I haven't really thought about it until you mentioned it, but now that you say it, yeah, it's pretty cool. I think it's a high-profile fight and it's two European guys. That is pretty cool. We're getting better, you know?

If you beat Daley, who would you like to fight next?
I don't know. Let me beat Daley first and I'll tell you about it. Of course, I would still like to fight Swick because that's what I was looking forward to and I was very disappointed to see him pull out. Maybe we can make that happen.

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