Martin Kampmann Isn’t Retiring, But He’s Also In No Rush To Return
Martin Kampmann is burned out. And he’s looking to remedy that with a little hiatus from his job as a professional MMA fighter.
No, he’s not retiring. He wants to be perfectly clear about that. He’s just taking some time to rest and recover, as his many wars in the UFC have taken their inevitable toll on his body.
“I’ve had a lot of tough fights, and even the ones I win, I sometimes make them tough for myself,” Kampmann told MMAjunkie Radio. “I’m just taking a long break. No rush to get back in the cage. Let my body recover and get good.
“I’m just going to kick back, and whenever I feel like coming back, I’ll come back.”
“I enjoy fighting, but I’ve just had my 10-year anniversary as a professional fighter,” Kampmann said. “I feel a little burned out right now. That’s why I’m taking a break. I don’t want to get in there unless I feel like it. I love training, I love fighting, but I want to have the fire again to go in. If I don’t have the fire, then I think that means I need to take a break.”
That “fire” Kampmann is speaking about has been doused in recent months, as his last two outings have seen him stopped with strikes on both occasions. To add even more water to the flames, both of those losses were highlight-reel material. Those kind of losses can take a severe toll on a fighter, and Kampmann recognizes just that.
“I’ve had my share of concussions, and sometimes I didn’t take the correct amount of time, and that catches up to you,” Kampmann said. “I feel OK. I’ve been better, but I feel I want to take a break. That’s why I’m taking a break.”
Kampmann is quick to point out that – although he feels that he needs some time off – he isn’t retiring. He knows that he still has a lot of gas left in the tank, and just needs to rekindle that fire. He also wants to spend some time, chasing down some other life goals.
“I’m not retiring yet,” Kampmann said. “I’m trying to pursue other things right now too. I’m not training so much. I’ve been in the gym coaching some guys, probably going to corner some guys coming up, and also I’m starting an affiliation program to certify trainers and gyms under me, so I’m helping the MMA program.”
And what about the goals he has inside the Octagon, after his return? Georges St-Pierre finds his name on Kampmann’s to-do list.
“I’d still love to fight GSP since he’s been at the top of the division for long time,” Kampmann said. “He’s always been there, and I’ve always been at the top, but every time I’ve gotten close to a title shot, I’ve kind of f–ked up.
“Of course I’d still love the opportunity, but it looks like it’s never going to happen now. I’m not fighting anytime soon, and he’s not fighting any time soon.”
Even if Kampmann’s dream of fighting GSP needs to sit on the back burner for the foreseeable future, he’s still just as eager to test himself against the newly-formed kings of the 170 pound hill.
“There’s a big shakeup [in the welterweight division], and that also gives the desire to come in and fight again,” Kampmann said. “I’ve been close to the top several times, but I’ve been able to maintain a top ranking for a lot of years. I’ve fought a lot of tough guys.”
Kampmann isn’t sure when he will return to the sport that he loves. But he seems pretty confident that his return will happen.
“I think when I make the decision not to fight, I’m not going to fight at all,” he said. “I’m just taking a break, and I think in the past, I should have taken more breaks because it catches up to you.
“Once I retire, I’m going to retire. You stick to it once you make the decision.”