In an always competitive headline bout at UFC On FX 2, Thiago Alves looked to have Martin Kampmann on the ropes late in the third round before succumbing to a submission.
Alves appeared to get the better of the first striking exchanges, working upstairs with punches and downstairs with his patented heavy leg kicks.
That gave Kampmann pause for thought and so he switched things up and looked for a takedown, but Alves was able to break free.
Back to the striking they went and Kampmann had better success as he landed a powerful front kick to Alves face and it rocked ‘Pitbull’, though he stayed on his feet.
Not letting him off the hook Kampmann pursued him and scored a takedown, and when Alves did a good job of getting back upright he was met with a knee for his troubles.
again they went back to the striking, but not for long as Alves pulled out a surprise by securing a nice takedown of his own. Not only that, but he showed his improved ground game by managing to pass Kampmann’s guard and eventually ended up in full mount.
Clearly concerned about giving up the position Alves didn’t posture up land much in the way of damaging strikes from the position however, preferring to just stay tight to his opponent and land the occasional short shot.
In the second round the fight reverted to a purely stand-up based affair and it was Alves who took control of the proceedings, finding a home for his punches and opening up a couple of minor cuts on Kampmann’s face in the process.
Kampmann wasn’t badly hurt at any stage though and came into the third round still looking relatively fresh despite his cuts. After a talking to from his cornermen he also came out with renewed purpose in the final round, looking to mix things up with both striking and wrestling.
Alves takedown defense was good though, stopping ‘The Hitman’s’ attempts to get him down, but Kampmann was now finding better success with his stand-up now as he was looking to land first rather than just attempt to counter.
As the round progressed Kampmann began to slow down a little again however, while Alves found his second wind and he appeared to hurt him with a right hand and then pressed forward with a a head kick and a flurry of punches.
Kampmann was looking in trouble now and was covering up against the cage, but then the fight turned on it’s head as Alves abandoned his striking gameplan and looked for a takedown.
It proved to be a decision as Kampmann managed to reverse the takedown and seized a guillotine choke from the mount in the blink of an eye, producing a reluctant tap from Alves with less than a minute of the round remaining.
Good win for Kampmann, but Alves will be kicking himself for letting him off the hook on the feet when he was so close to either a stoppage or at the very least a good chance at earning a decision victory.