Diego Sanchez came back from a shaky start to put on a dominant display against Paulo Thiago tonight at UFC 121.

Thiago started the fight on the front foot, appearing to get the better of the striking exchanges and scoring with some nice knee strikes.  Later he successfully took Sanchez to the mat where he threatened with a d’arce choke, but Sanchez escaped and got back to his feet.

Things really heated up for Sanchez in the second though as he picked up the pace and successfully took Thiago down, landing some strikes and steering clear of submissions before the Brazilian impressively managed to roll out.  Sanchez wasn’t finished yet though and scooped up Thiago, walked him across the cage while letting out a war-cry and dumped him to the mat in a highlight-reel worthy moment.  Thiago threatened with a kimura but Sanchez was wise to it and got out.  All in all this was an impressive round for Sanchez.

Sanchez conditioning and relentless drive were now really paying dividends with Thiago looking tired and bloodied up early in the third.  To make matters worse he was then taken down again as Sanchez continued to pile on the pressure and dominate the fight.  Thiago tried his best to threaten with submissions, but Sanchez would not be denied and showed some quality ground and pound, particularly as the round closed as he laid down a barrage of strikes.

So dominant was Sanchez in the latter rounds that one judge awarded him the fight 30-26, though the other two had it closer at 29-28.  Whatever way you look at it it was an impressive performance that helps him regain back momentum after a disappointing two fight losing streak.