An electrifying and bloody welterweight war of attrition went to the judges, and they sided with Diego Sanchez.
Sanchez survived the considerable skills of the world-ranked Martin Kampmann and posted a controversial unanimous decision over the Xtreme Couture Mixed Martial Arts representative in the UFC Live 3 main event on Thursday at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky. All three judges scored it 29-28 for Sanchez, their decision soundly booed by the Kentucky crowd.
“I knew I caught him with some big shots, too,” Sanchez said. “We both got caught with some big shots.”
His face a mixed mess of mangled flesh and blood, Sanchez fell behind in the first round, as Kampmann’s crisp standup skills carried him and produced a knockdown off of a straight right hand. Jabs and clean, straight power punches found their mark throughout the first five minutes and had Sanchez bleeding profusely from the mouth and nose. Concern hung over his corner in between rounds.
Still, “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 1 winner never stopped pressing Kampmann. He drew the Dane into a firefight in the second round, as the two high-caliber welterweights flurried wildly near the cage. Kampmann, cut over the eye, staggered on the end of a Sanchez right hand but kept his distance, gathered his wits and later countered with more clean punches up the middle.
In round three, Sanchez completed the takedown he had so doggedly pursued throughout the match. Kampmann stonewalled his first 14 attempts, but with 2:17 left in the bout, Sanchez finally grounded him and passed briefly to side control. It may have swayed the judges in his favor.
“I knew I would score points with that takedown,” Sanchez said. “I thought I won the fight by putting [on] the pressure and controlling the end of the fight.”
Undeterred, Kampmann returned to an upright position without much trouble after the takedown, and the two welterweights unleashed on one another once more in furious and glorious display of violent competition.
Kampmann, who had never before lost consecutive fights as a professional, was outspoken in his disappointment over the decision. Sanchez’s face, having been battered for three rounds by his opponent’s textbook strikes, was barely recognizable.
“I thought I won the fight,” said Kampmann, who appeared to have broken his right hand midway through the final round. “I think I won all three rounds, but definitely Diego caught me with some good shots, as well. But look at his face. I thought I was landing with way cleaner shots. Diego is a tough warrior, but I’m very disappointed. I thought I won the fight. I think I broke my hand, too. I couldn’t throw my right hand. I still think I won the fight hands down.”
Munoz Wrecks Dollaway in 54 Seconds
The surging Mark Munoz won for the fifth time in six appearances, as he stopped fellow All-American wrestler C.B. Dollaway on first-round strikes in the co-headliner. Munoz finished it in just 54 seconds.
Dollaway held the upper hand early, as he delivered a takedown on the 2001 NCAA national wrestling champion inside the first 30 seconds and moved to a dominant position. Munoz freed himself and avoided Dollaway’s dreaded choke game, as the two middleweights returned to an upright position. Once there, Munoz fired off a straight right hand and follow-up uppercut that sent Dollaway to the mat. Two heavy hammerfists polished off “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 7 finalist. The crowd booed the stoppage from referee Mario Yamasaki, though it was clear Dollaway was in no condition to defend himself.
“I came here to put on a show for you guys,” said Munoz, who improved to 5-2 inside the UFC. “I was prepared to go three rounds with C.B.”
Weidman won in his UFC debut.
Weidman Outpoints Sakara in UFC Debut
Top middleweight prospect Chris Weidman entered the Octagon with plenty of hype behind him, and the 26-year-old Baldwin, N.Y., native did not disappoint.
A two-time collegiate All-American wrestler at Hofstra University, Weidman grounded and grinded Alessio Sakara en route to a unanimous decision over theAmerican Top Team veteran in a 185-pound showcase. All three judges scored it 30-27 for Weidman, who took the fight on two weeks’ notice and remains unbeaten in five professional appearances.
“I’m so happy,” Weidman said. “I want to thank the UFC for this opportunity. This was the chance of a lifetime. I needed to get out here and get a win so bad.”
A competitive first round gave way to a dominant 10-minute stretch for Weidman. He took down Sakara inside the first 30 seconds of round two, moved to side control and dropped elbows from the top, one of which carved a nasty gash into the Italian’s forehead. Sakara’s blood painted the canvas, as the fight deepened. Weidman secured three takedowns in the third round and hammered his foe with elbows, forearms and punches from above.
“I came in here to stop him, 100 percent, but I’m not surprised that [I couldn’t finish it],” Weidman said. “He’s a veteran. He’s been around for a long time, so I knew he was going to be relaxed in there, but I did my best.”
Bowles Chokes Page Unconscious
Page was the aggressor from the outset, as he attacked Bowles with virtually every weapon in his standup arsenal: head kicks, leg kicks, knees and heavy punches. The former titleholder weathered the blitz, wobbled Page with a crackling uppercut and bullied him to the mat. There, Bowles went to work with ground-and-pound and cinched the choke when Page left his neck exposed. Moments later, the Jackson’s Mixed Martial Artsrepresentative went limp.
“That’s my signature move,” said Bowles, who has battled hand and foot injuries for the last year. “I hit it all the time in the gym. He was out for a second. I didn’t want to keep holding on and hurt him.”
The once-beaten Bowles submitted Page with a guillotine choke the first time the two met in August 2008. Page’s aggression came as little surprise.
“I fought him before. I knew he would come out aggressive,” said Bowles, who trains out of the American Top Team-affiliated Hardcore Gym in Athens, Ga. “I tried to use my footwork last time, and I tried to do the same thing this time.”
UFC Live 3 – Sanchez vs. Kampmann
Louisville, Kentucky, United States
|1||Igor Pokrajac||Todd Brown||TKO (Retirement)||1||5:00|
|2||Rousimar Palhares||Dave Branch||Submission (Heel Hook)||2||1:44|
|3||Dongi Yang||Rob Kimmons||TKO (Punches)||2||4:47|
|4||Takeya Mizugaki||Reuben Duran||Decision (Split)||3||5:00|
|5||Shane Roller||Thiago Tavares||KO (Punches)||2||1:28|
|6||Danny Castillo||Joe Stevenson||Decision (Unanimous)||3||5:00|
|7||Cyrille Diabate||Steve Cantwell||Decision (Unanimous)||3||5:00|
|8||Brian Bowles||Damacio Page||Technical Submission (Guillotine Choke)||1||3:30|
|9||Chris Weidman||Alessio Sakara||Decision (Unanimous)||3||5:00|
|10||Mark Munoz||C.B. Dollaway||KO (Punches)||1||0:54|
|11||Diego Sanchez||Martin Kampmann||Decision (Unanimous)||3||5:00|