Many found the decision rendered in last night’s UFC Live: Sanchez Vs. Kampmann main event bout to be controversial, but no matter your feelings on the outcome of the bout it is undeniable that both Diego Sanchez and Martin Kampmann laid everything on the line and left everything in the cage last night in Louisville, Kentucky.
Kampmann showed the kind of technical striking prowess he has become known for, using nice straight punches and expert footwork to keep his distance and light Sanchez up down the middle, easily stuffing all of the newly nicknamed “The Dream’s” takedowns in the process. The Dutchman turned Sanchez’s nose into a faucet early on with stiff jabs and a slightly softer than usual Sanchez seemed to be getting overwhelmed.
After a dominant first round for Kampmann, Sanchez showed the heart of a lion by hanging tough and firing back despite the fact that his face was getting turned inside out. He was still unable to capitalize on any takedowns, but he succeeded in getting Kampmann to start fighting his fight, a gutter war.
The third round saw both men bloodied and beaten, but still fighting their hearts out. Kampmann clearly injured his hand after landing with a right that opened another cut under Sanchez’s eye and “The Dream” finally succeeded on a takedown attempt, from which Kampmann quickly recovered. Sanchez came on stronger in the last two frames, but aggressiveness and effectiveness do not always correlate. It was enough in the eyes of the judges though, who eventually rendered their decision in favor of Sanchez.
“I’m feeling the pure ecstasy of having a war,” a barely recognizable Sanchez told Joe Rogan in the cage after his fight.
“The Dream” astutely pointed out that he found success in the fight by making it ugly, staying in the Dane’s face and luring him into a brawl.
“What it all comes to is that I kind of threw the game plan out the window and made it a street fight, and I got the win,” he said.
Dripping blood from several open wounds on his face, Sanchez thanked the crowd–who booed the decision–and pledged to leave his heart in the cage every time he fights.
“I showed [everyone] once again that I’ve got a lot of heart and that I’m going to drop my balls in there,” said Sanchez. “I’m going to give the fans what they want to see. That’s the bottom line. That was my 20th fight here in the UFC and what better way to showcase my 20th fight than with a good war?”
Sanchez improves to 23-4 with the victory, while Kampmann falls to 17-5 and makes it 0-2 in his last two fights.