Paul "Semtex" Daley stopped contender Martin Kampmann in the first round.
There’s a long history of great upsets in MMA, and while this is hardly St. Pierre vs. Serra I, Paul Daley (22-8-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC)
upsetting Danish warrior Martin “The Hitman” Kampmann (15-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC, #7 IWMMAR)
was definitely unexpected.
The popular dictum, and having gone back and forth with some great minds on the sport, I can say it was pretty consistent, was that Daley could challenge Kampmann standing up. But they were pretty even on the feet and Kampmann, who’s ground game has been pretty solid throughout his UFC career, could definitely dominate the Brit on the mat. No one seemed to expect the fight to stay standing very long. And it seemed like the gameplan, given the coaching from Kampmann’s corner.
There were many, myself included,
who thought the stoppage was bad. Upon revisiting the footage, I’d like to retract that, and the subsequent shots at Yves Lavigne. The only thing supporting Kampmann was the cage and, in that respect, it was a good call on the part of the referee, especially observing Kampmann’s slugishness in recovering afterwards.
But that controversy is minor. What’s shocking is that Kampmann, who many considered a legitimate frontrunner to take on welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre (19-2 MMA, 13-2 UFC, #1 IWMMAR)
, was taken out by a relatively one dimensional British muay thai fighter with little name recognition, no UFC experience and a notably disappointing groundgame, especially with the acknowledgment that Daley took the fight on short notice.