UFC 139 preview: Kampmann vs. Story

Martin Kampmann (17-5) vs. Rick Story (13-4)

In an intriguing welterweight pairing, the Danish Xtreme Couture standout Kampmann looks to bounce back from successive contentious setbacks when he battles the emerging contender Story.

Kampmann, 29, dropped close decisions to Jake Shields and Diego Sanchez in his last two UFC appearances. Both fights could have easily gone the other way.

A Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt under Robert Drysdale, Kampmann already holds wins over some tough competition, including Paulo Thiago, Jacob Volkmann, Carlos Condit and Thales Leites.

Kampmann is primarily a muay thai striker, but his ability to sink in submissions, stuff takedowns and scramble out of bad positions makes him a particularly dangerous foe for any welterweight.

Story, 27, put his name on the map with strong unanimous decision wins over Thiago Alves and Johny Hendricks. But the rugged southpaw wants to erase any memories of his most recent bout against Charlie Brenneman, which he lost on short notice by unanimous decision.

A product of the Brave Legion camp, Story’s wrestling base is his strongest suit. But his toughness is also a key factor as Story has willingly gone toe-to-toe with more technically proficient strikers and actually done fairly well for himself.

Wrestling was the difference maker when Kampmann dropped a decision to Shields in October 2010, and Story should utilize the same game plan.

Rather than trading strikes with the gifted kickboxer, Story should move forward aggressively and utilize his takedowns to grind on the Dane for three exhausting rounds.

Verdict: Story via decision