MMAFrenzy kicks off its coverage of UFC 139 with a double-header of previews of Stephan Bonnar vs. Kyle Kingsbury and Martin Kampmann vs. Rick Story. Stay tuned to MMAFrenzy as we breakdown each fight on the UFC 139 main card leading up to the main event between Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion Dan Henderson and former UFC light-heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.
Stephan Bonnar vs. Kyle Kingsbury
Keys for Bonnar (Bryan Robison) - A stellar matchup of two of the biggest light heavyweights in the UFC, Kyle Kingsbury and Stephan Bonnar both supply excitement whenever they step into the octagon.
Regarding Bonnar, who has been doing it for the last six years, he has typically provided that excitement with his forte, his boxing. The former Golden Gloves winner has rarely overpowered his opponent with his striking, with only two knockout wins during his UFC career, but he has always been able to provide a tough test with his aggression and tenacity.
Kingsbury will welcome that, and Bonnar needs to take advantage of that. Kingsbury’s most recent opponent, Fabio Maldonado certainly made his mark with his striking during their fight. With that, Bonnar can look to take advantage of the holes in Kingsbury’s defense on the feet. From there, Bonnar’s underrated BJJ offense can be utilized, or he can look into stopping this fight via ground-and-pound.
One thing can be guaranteed with this fight: Stephan Bonnar will bleed.
Keys for Kingsbury (CL) – Last we saw Kingsbury he was learning a rather painful lesson on why you need to protect your ribs. Hopefully, he protects himself better this weekend otherwise breathing is going to be low on his list of favorite things to do.
This fight has brawl written all over it, plain and simple. While Kingsbury is likely to mix in some power-based wrestling, expect this to turn into a sloppy muay thai fight with Kingsbury looking to land more power shots over volume. Kingsbury loves to strike from the collar tie and he could potentially end the fight by cutting Bonnar’s face like a drunken plastic surgeon.
If this fight does hit the ground, it’s likely Kingsbury will be the one to put it there. While he favors power slams, those are exhausting and few without the last name Jones have been able to ragdoll Bonnar. If Kingsbury gets it on the ground, he will be looking to posture up and blast Bonnar with strikes. He has to be careful though as Bonnar has good BJJ and will be looking to gain wrist control, which could aide in controlling Kingsbury’s posture.
Martin Kampmann vs. Rick Story
Keys for Kampmann (CL) – Story is an extemely tough match-up for Kampmann, do not let his performance against Brenneman fool you, Story can wrestle. Kampmann has to stay vertical to win this fight, plain and simple. Kampmann has fantastic muay thai but he may have to rely less on his kicks and more on his boxing here against a wrestler. This could prove problematic since Story has powerful boxing.
Kampmann needs to work everything off a jab in this fight, whether it’s kicks, punches, takedowns, etc. a jab must start the exchanges. The jab disrupts an opponent’s rhythm and is more effective at keeping range in a fight. While the punch is criminally underused in MMA, Kampmann needs to use one effectively to keep this fight vertical and give himself the best chance to win.
On the ground, Kampmann has good BJJ but Story has gotten better and better at BJJ with each fight. So it may negate any BJJ advantage Kampmann has over him.
Expect a fast-paced fight since neither fighter enjoys being labeled boring.
Keys for Story (BR) – Rick Story was the bees knees earlier this summer, after he defeated Thiago Alves at UFC 130. Following that, he replaced Anthony Johnson to square off against Nate Marquardt.
From there, it was all downhill for Story. For starters, he never fought Marquardt. He then went on to lose to his replacement opponent for Marquardt in Charlie Brenneman.
With the way the UFC works, you are only as good as your most recent fight. Judging by his most recent bout, Story is not that good but that is certainly not the truth.
Story has a chance to redeem his most recent loss against Brenneman against Martin Kampmann on Saturday. Coming into the fight, the aspect that Story is probably most excited about is that Story will not have to worry about being constantly put on his back throughout the fight. That will allow Story to return to the punishing style that he loves to employ.
Kampmann, while a very solid striker, has struggled with those that have put the pressure on him. Whether it be Diego Sanchez, Paul Daley, or Nate Marquardt, Kampmann likes to stay in his own pocket and attack at his own pace, not the opponent’s. That plays into Story’s strength. Thiago Alves was befuddled throughout the first two rounds against Story, as he constantly put Alves against the fence, keeping him on the defensive. Story will look to bully Kampmann and return to his own style, as a way of redeeming himself and his career.