The finals of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ season 15 are scheduled for June 1st at the Palms in Las Vegas, Nevada, and a welterweight battle of top contenders will headline the event as Jake Ellenberger takes on Martin Kampmann. The winner will almost certainly be next in line for the welterweight title, as Kampmann is coming off an impressive victory, and Ellenberger has been destroying everyone during his six fight UFC winning streak. What is unclear is when they will get a shot at the gold, as it appears that the UFC is going to wait and pit long time champion George St Pierre against interim titleholder Carlos Condit when GSP is back from injury. It would be a shame for the winner of this fight to have to sit until 2013 for a shot at the title, but alas it looks like tha tis what may happen.
Kampmann earned a lot of respect and certainly a rise in his ranking with a come from behind win over Thiago Alves in his last outing. He took a lot of punishment and was clearly behind in the fight when Alves gave Kampmann an opening. He capitalized on it and closed Alves out with a rear naked choke.
I see the match with Ellenberger going very similar for Kampmann as the one with Alves, to a certain extent. Kampmann is going to take damage from Ellenberger, especially in the early part of the fight, as Ellenberger is explosive and usually looks to finish in the early going if he can. Should Kampmann survive the initial rush, he is going to be banged up a bit.
Kampmann will be dangerous for Ellenberger if Jake can’t take him out early and starts to tire.
The difference with Alves is that Ellenberger will likely fight safer as he tires, counting on his ability to ground Kampmann and stay out of trouble. Ellenberger has not shown the self defeating and downright stupid streak that Alves has shown, and is unlikely to give Kampmann an opening that is big enough to take him out.
Ellenberger will be the favorite going into this bout, and I don’t see that changing as we approach the fight. Check back often at http://www.betdsi.com/live-lines/martial-arts/mma-ufc to see when the actual line is released, but in this case it makes no difference – Ellenberger all the way.