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Kampmann won even though he was getting badly beaten, losing the first to rounds and appearing to be well on his way to losing the third. It was an outstanding comeback victory for Kampmann and a heartbreaking loss for Alves.
"Thiago got me with some good shots, I'll be honest," Kampmann said afterward. "He was catching me. ... I was eating too many punches."
Alves went on the attack from the very beginning: He threw heavy shots at the start of the fight before Kampmann waded in and attempted a single-leg takedown. Kampmann put Alves down for just an instant but Alves popped back up. However, Kampmann hurt Alves with a front kick to the chin and then took him down again, landed some shots on the ground and appeared to be in control.
But Alves did a nice job of maintaining his composure, getting back up to his feet after the second takedown and then taking Kampmann down and getting on top in side control, and then into full mount. Alves didn't do a lot of damage from the top, but the dominant position was probably enough to win Alves the first round.
In the second round both fighters appeared to be more tentative and cautious as they traded strikes, but Alves was landing the harder punches and probably did enough to win the second and head into the third with a 20-18 lead.
Amazingly, he did it with less than a minute to go in the fight: Alves was battering Kampmann against the cage and had the fight all but won, but Alves ducked down for a takedown and brought Kampmann down, only to have Kampmann reverse it, wind up on top of Alves, sink in a mounted guillotine choke and force Alves to tap.
The win improves Kampmann's record to 19-5, while Alves falls to 19-9. It's a devastating disappointment for Alves, but a strong win for Kampmann, who said afterward that he wants a shot at UFC interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit. Kampmann is worthy of a shot at the title.
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