Paul Daley, who makes his Octagon debut at UFC 103 on September 19 against Martin Kampmann, is well aware that the “The Hitman” has a lot to be nervous about.
Initially scheduled to debut against Brian Foster at UFC 103, the former Cage Rage welterweight champion stepped in on short notice to face Kampmann in place of an injured Mike Swick. This move also placed Daley on the televised main card for the event instead of the undercard.
The Nottingham, England fighter recently sat down with Telegraph.co.uk and gave his reaction to the news that he would be facing Kampmann, explaining,”I got a text from my manager, and immediately I read it and thought ‘I am having it!’. I grabbed some of my coaches and watched some films of his fights. I’ve know of Kampmann for years, actually, I’ve emailed with him in the past and we’ve helped each other with advice on where to train.
“It is a better fight for me than the Foster fight. I won’t be fighting the best Kampmann, because with so much to lose he will be very nervous and unsettled at the start. This would have been a number one contender fight, but now he’s in a position that if he wins he kinda stays where he is. That’s tough psychologically for a fighter. I can exploit that in a hurry if that happens.
“I’ve got a lot on the line too. A lot of people have written on the forums that this is a win/win for me, that even a good showing on such short notice is going to be a good result for me. But I could never be happy with a loss, no way. I’d be disgusted with myself if I was ever happy that I lost.
Paul Daley has combined a 21-8-2 record and has shown incredible punching power, his takedown defense is questionable, but he seemingly has nothing to lose with the Kampmann fight. If he wins, he beat someone in line for a title shot. If he puts on a good effort and loses, he shows the UFC and fans alike that he belongs in the octagon.
Martin Kampmann 15-2, on the other hand, has a lot more to loss in this fight. If he loses to “Semtex”, he loses his current bid for a shot at Georges St. Pierre and has to start over again. If he wins, he probably stays idle for another fight, possibly facing the winner of Mike Swick’s next fight to determine who’s next in line for GSP.
However, a lot of credit is deserved for Kampmann taking on a newcomer in Daley, he knows he has more to lose and should be more than willing to fight for it.