Diego Sanchez was bruised and bloodied in a close fight with Martin Kampmann, but he ended up pulling out the unanimous decision win at UFC on Versus 3: Sanchez vs. Kampmann.
After getting rocked by a strong shot in the first round, Sanchez recovered and turned up the pace in the remaining two rounds to get the win.
Sanchez came out with the typical mean scowl and Kampmann worked the jab early. Sanchez worked to get a takedown, but Kampmann kept the fight standing. A ferocious straight right by Kampmann dropped Sanchez at just under two minutes in, but the Team Jackson fighter recovered, getting back to his feet shortly thereafter. The blow bloodied up Sanchez’s mouth and Kampmann continued to pick his shots. All first round takedown attempts by Sanchez were stuffed by his opponent and the two walked to their corners at the end of the opening five minutes with Kampmann up 10-9.
The second round had Sanchez shooting for the takedowns again, but to no avail. “The Hitman” picked his spots, showing a definitive gap between he and his opponent’s technical striking. Halfway through the fight, Diego attempted yet another takedown, but Kampmann remained standing. A flurry by Sanchez scored his first advantage on the feet, as Kampmann looked wobbly with his back against the cage. The Dutch fighter recovered, but showed some blood on the face for the first time in the evening. The round approached its ending and Diego threw another flurry that rocked Kampmann again. Buckling his opponent twice, Sanchez appeared to have won the round.
The final round started with Sanchez having a renewed aggression, but a takedown attempt in the first minute was, once again, stopped. With every punch, Sanchez moved forward and pressed the action with only a few counters by Kampmann. Two-and-a-half minutes in, Sanchez threw a clean combination that scored some points. A short while later, Sanchez finally secured his first takedown of the evening, but it didn’t stay on the canvas long and Kampmann worked his way back to the feet. At one minute left, Kampmann landed a clean right hand that opened up a cut on Sanchez’s face, apparently breaking his hand in the process. Busted up face and all, Sanchez kept the pressure on until the final horn and the fight went to a decision.
Despite Sanchez’s face being bruised and cut open, he impressed all three judges enough for them to unanimously score it 29-28 across the board.
Sanchez was absolutely positive he won the fight, regardless of the mixed emotion from the crowd and he explained that to Joe Rogan after the win.
“I knew I caught him with some big shots too,” Sanchez said. “He was cut. We both got caught with some big shots.
“I thought I won the fight by putting the pressure and controlling the end of the fight.”
As for Martin Kampmann, he was visibly disappointed with the loss and felt he pulled out the decision, expressing such to Joe Rogan in their post-fight interview.
“I thought I won the fight,” Kampmann said after the loss. “I think I won all three rounds.
“Look at his face. I got a little cut too, but I definitely thought I won the fight…I feel I was landing way more, cleaner shots.”
In addition, Kampmann explained that he thinks he broke his hand during the fight, admitting that he could not throw his right after sustaining the break. The injury will guarantee some time on the sidelines while the hand heals.
The win for Sanchez is his second in a row since his loss to John Hathaway at UFC 114 and his third outing since returning to the welterweight division. Kampmann has now lost two in a row and posts a 4-3 record since dropping to welterweight.