Jake Ellenberger looked to be in the driving seat his main event fight at the TUF Live Finale in Las Vegas until Martin Kampmann produced a stunning come-from-behind KO victory.
Ellenberger almost had the fight over before it had a chance to really get going as he came out all guns blazing and floored Kampmann with a left hook.
He then immediately unleashed a barrage of blows, but all credit to Kampmann who recovered quickly and was able to stifle his offense.
Perhaps mindful of the fact that this fight could go the full five rounds Ellenberger slowed his pace down and looked to just continue to maintain top control.
That gave Kampmann more time to clear the cobwebs and start to plan his escape route from the position, working a guillotine attempt which eventually allowed him to rise to his feet just as the bell sounded.
Onto round two and both men came out firing off hard strikes and while Ellenberger was getting the better of it Kampmann reminded him of his own striking prowess by catching him with a right hand that briefly stopped him in his tracks.
It wasn’t enough to stop Ellenberger from pressing forward though and he again unleashed a flurry of strikes, opening up a significant cut on Kampmann’s nose that quickly left his whole face bloodied.
The two met toe-to-toe again and Kampmann landed a short right hand that left Ellenberger on unsteady legs. Before he had time to fully recover Kampmann moved forward and used the clinch to deliver several hard knees, with the final one crumpling Ellenberger to the mat.
The referee charges in before he has a chance to recover and declares Kampmann the winner by knockout with 1.40mins of the second round gone.
It’s a quick call from the ref, but having watched the replay again Ellenberger did appear to be out momentarily and he doesn’t complain about the stoppage.
Hats off to Kampmann for weathering the early storm and finding a route to victory against the odds. This is a big win for him and it’ll be interesting to see what the UFC has in store for him next.
Give credit to Ellenberger too though as he had Kampmann in all sorts of trouble at times during the fight and despite this loss I still see him having a big role to play in the future of the division.