Indianapolis, IN – IT’S BACK!!! The Ultimate Fight Championship (UFC) is making it’s way back to Banker’s Life Fieldhouse after nearly 3 years of bouncing around the world skipping over us. UFC Fight Night 27 will take place at the Pacers’s venue, August 28. The 13 bout card will be headlined by former UFC Interim Welterweight Champion Carlos Condit (28-7 MMA 5-3 UFC) vs. Martin Kampmann (20-6 MMA 11-5 UFC) in a rematch UFC fans have been eagerly awaiting.
UFC President Dana White was quite anxious upon announcing the rematch. “Two of the top-ranked welterweights in the division will collide when former interim UFC champion Carlos Condit meets Martin Kampmann in Indianapolis,” White told UFC.com. “Both of these guys love finishing fights, so this is gonna be a war!” Condit and Kampmann are clashing in a 5-round non title bout.
#2 Carlos Condit (aka The Natural Born Killer) comes to the Circle City having finished 26 of his 28 victories and only 2 decisions. With 13 knockouts and 13 submission victories to his credit, expect to train a full and complete camp for the Jackson/Winkeljohn MMA fighter. Condit also is notorious for his conditioning, experience in 5-round championship bouts, is expected to go the distance. Even took the #2 Pound for Pound and reigning UFC Welterweight Champion George St. Pierre the distance, nearly knocking him out in the 3rd round. Condit looking to get back on the winning track as he’s riding a 2-fight skid having dropped decisions to the UFC Welterweight Champion, GSP, and then again to #1 contender Johnny Hendricks.
#3 Martin Kampmann (aka The Hitman) is the Leonardo da Vinci of the UFC’s heavily talented welterweight division. Not often does his opponents leave the historical octagon recognizable. Kampmann’s fists and 72 inch reach are primed each time he touches the canvas of your face. Not just with 8 knockouts, the Denmark native also nearly even with 7 submission victories in his 26 fight career. Kampmann has the added pressure in this bout as he’s not seen a 5-round bout. Kampmann also is coming off of a loss to the #1 contender, Hendricks.
Condit and Kampmann are no stranger to each other. Their last meeting was in Nashville, TN, April 1, 2009, at UFC Fight Night 18. Kampmann edged out “the Natural Born Killer” in a split decision, that soured Condit’s UFC (a Zuffa owned company) debut. Condit had been crossed over from another Zuffa owned company, World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC), where he ended as the promotion’s last welterweight champion.
Condit, much like today’s Indianapolis Colts, started off the bout a bit on the slow side. Half way through the bout, Condit turned up the heat and kept it on high throughout the remainder of the bout. The Hitman ended up walking away with a split decision victory, with 2 judges scoring the bout 29-28 and the other judge scoring for Condit 29-28.
Condit vs. Kampmann isn’t the only bout that’s bringing heat to Indiana. The agricultural state can also be expecting UFC Lightweights #6 Donald “the Cowboy” Cerrone (20-5, 1 NC MMA 7-2 UFC) vs. #10 Rafael dos Anjos (19-6 MMA 8-4 UFC), which will most likely be the co-main event of the card. Cerrone just coming off of a highly technical striking clinic victory over Strikeforce crossover KJ Noons. Dos Anjos is currently surfing the waves of a 4-fight winning streak.
Indianapolis will also welcome it’s first major Women’s Mix Martial Arts bout. UFC bantamweight, #4 Sara McMann (7-0 MMA 0-0 UFC) was expected to face former Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion #2 Sarah Kaufman (16-2 MMA 0-0 UFC). However, McMann had to pull out of the bout due to an undisclosed reason. Kaufman now awaits the word of a new opponent.
McMann, 2004 Olympic Silver Medalist in Freestyle Wrestling, is undefeated and at one point had much trouble finding other women to even fight her. Since becoming a professional mixed martial artist in 2011, many have become eager to become her first blemish on her flawless record.
Kaufman, a proud Canadian, is a 2-time Strikeforce women’s champion and has fought amongst the best in the world. She’s gone toe to toe with fighters of the likes of Marloes Coenen, Liz Carmouche, Roxanne Modafferi, and current undefeated UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey. Both Kaufman and McMann are coming off victories.
UFC Fight Night 27 will also bring The Ultimate Fighter 17 winner (an MMA based reality show), 21 year old Kevin Gastelum (6-0 MMA 1-0 UFC) was slated to fight UFC veteran Paulo Thiago (15-5 MMA 5-5 UFC), however Thiago had to pull out of the fight due to an injury to his left knee. Now it’s come to my attention that Brian Melancon (7-2 MMA 1-0 UFC) will step up to replace Thiago. Melancon came into the UFC in fashion as he scored a 1st round knockout victory over seasoned veteran Seth Baczynski at UFC 162. Melancon out of the Paradigm Training Center in Houston, Texas where he lives and trains. He’ll be looking to slow the momentum of the TUF winner. Gastelum won the reality show tournament over universally favored middleweight Uriah Hall and will now be making his welterweight debut.
UFC is coming back to Indianapolis looking to best their numbers from UFC 119, which was held September 25, 2010. A card that was great until it was ended by an embarrassing main event bout; Frank Mir vs. Mirco “Cro Cop”. A bout that UFC President Dana White and the rest of the brass would like to forget. That’s when Banker’s Life Fieldhouse was known as Conseco Fieldhouse. UFC 119 brought the venue 15,811 in attendance, $1.6 million in Live Gate, and brought in 295,000 Pay Per View buys. UFC 119 also studded 4 Indiana fighters on the card with Chris Lytle, Matt Mitrione, Sean McCorkle, and Steve Lopez. The Hoosier fighters went 3-1 on the night as Lopez was the only fighter who dropped a decision. A razor close split decision, but a loss nonetheless.
UFC won’t have to worry about PPV revenue as they’re airing the event on LIVE and FREE TV. The 6 bout Main Card will be viewed on Fox Sports 1, which is currently known as SPEED Channel. A 4-bout Preliminary Card will be aired on Fox Sports 2, which is currently known to you as Fuel TV. A 3-bout Preliminary Card can also be viewed on Facebook prior to the televised events. Unlike UFC 119, UFC Fight Night 27 will feature only 1 Indiana fighter. UFC Featherweight Darren Elkins (16-3 MMA 6-2 UFC) of Hobart, Indiana will be facing Japan’s Hatsu Hioki (26-6-2 MMA 2-2 UFC). Both fighters are coming off of losses. However, Elkins has had the more success between the 2 fighters, having played spoiler to many fighters on a run.
Main Card (Fox Sports 1)
Carlos Condit vs. Martin Kampmann
Donald Cerrone vs. Rafael dos Anjos
Sarah Kaufman vs. Sara McMann
Kevin Gastelum vs. TBA
Court McGee vs. Robert Whittaker
Robert McDaniel vs. Brad Tavares
Preliminary Card (Fox Sports 2)
Takeya Mizugaki vs. Erik Perez
Justin Edwards vs. Brandon Thatch
Darren Elkins vs. Hatsu Hioki
Dylan Andrews vs. Papi Abedi
Preliminary Card (Facebook)
James Head vs. Jason High
Ben Alloway vs. Zak Cummings
Roger Bowling vs. Abel Trujillo
Banner and Fighter Rankings courtesy of ufc.com