Las Vegas will see no pause in UFC action, as the Palms Casino Resort hosts the finals of Season 15 of the UFC reality show ‘Ultimate Fighter’. The card is headlined by an important welterweight tilt between Martin Kampmann and Jake Ellenberger. It is a fight of two guys trying to position themselves for a title shot early next year. The rest of the card features a lot of match ups with the cast of the 15th season, but it is the matchup between Ellenberger and Kampmann that really warrants a good look.
Ellenberger is on an impressive six fight winning streak that probably would have earned him a title shot if the UFC’s belts at welterweight were in play. Unfortunately, niether the interim or the legit World title will be in play until November, when Georges St Pierre returns, and Ellenberger is a guy who likes to stay active.
Ellenberger, known as the ‘Juggernaut’ must feel the pressure to win this fight. He may even have to win another one before the end of the year, just to stay in title contention. Any loss is harmful to his standing, but Ellenberger is mentally tough and able to handle the pressure.
For Kampmann however, he is going to have to be extra careful. In one of his recent outings, against Thiago Alves, Kampmann has shown the ability to pull a fight out late and win. The problem this presents for Ellenberger is that he has appeared to tire in the third round, so if he slows down a bit, Kampmann may find the opportunity he is looking for.
I do look for Kampmann to keep the fight competitive. He has a win over Rick Story, but a loss to Diego Sanchez while Ellenberger has beaten Sanchez and lost to Story. Doesn’t mean much, other than that both men operate at about the same level of competition.
Kampmann has won two in a row, and he needs to keep that streak going, as prior to that, he had dropped two in a row. Kampmann will likely need another win in addition to this one to be considered for a title shot.
The lines are standing at Ellenberger as the favorite at -185, with the comeback on Kampmann at +155. Kampmann seems to be getting a lot of respect, that is not much juice to lay on Ellenberger, which is the way I am leaning for this one.