In the main event of UFC On Versus 3 this evening Diego Sanchez showed heart and determination to grab a decision win over Martin Kampmann in a fight that could have been awarded either way.
As always Sanchez came out fired up in the early stages of the first round, but it was the cool, calm and collected Kampmann who would get the better of the round.
The Dane showed terrific takedown defense throughout, brushing aside Sanchez various attempts to take the fight to the floor.
On the feet he was then able to show his striking superiority, and he did so decisively when he dropped Sanchez with a right hand. The TUF season 1 winner is a hardy competitor though and survived, but as the round progressed he was continually tagged with Kampmann’s crisp jab and driving knees that left him bleeding from his mouth and nose.
Sanchez’ takedown attempts were again being stuffed in the second round, and so he needed to dig deep and find something in the stand-up to change the course of the fight, and he did. Getting Kampmann up against the fence Sanchez began to brawl with the more technical striker, and going blow for blow he got the better of a frenzied exchange, leaving the Dane to bid a hasty retreat with a cut above his right eye.
That seemed to take a little of the wind out of Kampmann’s sails and Sanchez took advantage, hunting him down again towards the end of the round against the cage and unleashing with more venomous strikes.
Into the final round and Kampmann was looking tired, while Sanchez grit and determination was coming to the fore. ‘The Hitman’s’ smooth, technical striking was now coming off second best to ‘The Dream’s’ savage style, throwing bombs with bad intentions.
Mid-way through the round Kampmann appeared to hurt his hand with a punch that seemed to swell Sanchez left eye shut. That made the Dane fight a little more cautiously while Sanchez, who’s face was by now covered in blood, appeared impervious to the pain and continued to wade forward through the shots in order to land some of his own.
And so it came down to the judges scorecards, and to the dissatisfaction of the crowd a battered, bloodied and bruised Sanchez was awarded a unanimous decision victory (29-28 x3).