In 2013 we saw the exit of Denmark's greatest MMA fighter from active competition, Martin Kampmann, who is settling in as the head coach over at Team Alpha Male. During Kampmann's career, he held the torch for a people and the small, but growing MMA scene of Denmark. He was the first and only real talent from Denmark to make it to the big cage. As he grew others saw the potential and the scene has grown much more. Today, we have a new talent that has made lots of noise on the European scene, Nicolas Dalby.
Dalby shares a similar and past to Kampmann. Both men received their big breaks in the fantastic patron of an organization, Cage Warriors. Kampmann left Cage Warriors as their Middleweight champion. Dalby currently holds their Welterweight belt. Now in 2015 Cage Warriors has grown by leaps and bounds and have cultivated immense talent across the European continent. You might recognize their former featherweight and Lightweight champion, Conor McGregor.
Now Dalby is no young prospect, he is to be thirty-one years old this November. Still, he is a young man and has an opportunity to present his skills to the masses. With a record of 13 wins, and 0 losses, he has proven himself a worthy signing for the UFC, especially with his recent defense of the CWFC belt.
Some may ask what sort of does Dalby possess. His background is Karate but surprisingly has pretty solid boxing, and has a dynamic grappling game with pretty efficient wrestling. I would not call Dalby a super explosive striker or the fastest by any means, but there is no questioning, he has speed in his punch's and kick's and is quite agile on the feet. Dalby uses an in and out like the legendary Lyoto Machida, and UFC welterweight Stephen Thompson. With his hands he uses a more boxing oriented and is willing to exchange in the pocket when he is confident.
Dalby is a fighter that seems to be quite aware of his abilities and how to leverage those skills against his opponents weakness's. When the opportunity to finish a fight, he pounces on his opponent, but has no issue working them over when they're too tough for their own good.
I would like to highlight some of Dalby's fights to show a glimpse of the fighter I hope to see in the UFC soon.
Way back in Dalby's amateur career you can see his high level kicking reminiscent of Stephen Thompson's debut in the UFC against Daniel Stittgen. While his hands had not fully developed back then you can see the base for which we see the champion has grown from. If you don't skip the beginning you can see one of the weirdest ring entrances I have personally ever seen.
Here in Dalby's first official amateur bout faced some adversity in the wrestling game. His defense was alright, but he showed solid awareness and was not broken in the fight after being stuck on bottom for the latter half of the first round. In round two he makes clear adjustments to how he used space and covered distance. When he played the distance game he frustrated his opponent and forced positive exchanges allowing him to end the fight with a fantastic exchange. Admittedly, we are still on the amateur circuit, but it's all about developing the base to which a career is built.