Coming off his first-ever UFC loss -- and just the second defeat of his professional career -- UFC middleweight Martin Kampmann (13-2 MMA, 4-1 UFC) could finally pull the trigger on a move down to welterweight.
Over the weekend, Kampmann told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that he's been considering a drop to 170 pounds.
The Xtreme Couture fighter said he's received encouragement from many of his teammates, including team leader and current UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture.
Kampmann, 26, fought this past weekend at "UFC 88: Breakthrough" in just his second fight back since a significant knee injury (and two subsequent knee surgeries) that kept him sidelined for more than 16 months. Although he returned with a quick submission victory over Jorge Rivera in June, Kampmann suffered a first-round TKO to Nate Marquardt this past weekend.
Kampmann mentioned the possible move to welterweight prior to the loss.
"On the morning of (UFC 88) weigh-ins, Martin was eating breakfast with nothing to worry about," said Kampmann's agent, Ken Pavia. "He's been considering the move for a while now. He's a pretty small middleweight."
Kampmann had been considered a top middleweight contender prior to UFC 88. With the loss, he's now at least a few fights -- and possibly more than a year -- away from a shot at the belt, which is currently held by Anderson Silva.
However, things wouldn't get much easier in the UFC's deep 170-pound division. A small army of contenders -- including Diego Sanchez, Thiago Alves, Jon Fitch, Josh Koscheck and Mike Swick, just to name a few -- are jockeying for the chance to fight current title-holder Georges St. Pierre. (St. Pierre, though, is expected to first fight current lightweight champ B.J. Penn on Jan. 31.)