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UFC 121 Live Blog: Diego Sanchez vs. Paulo Thiago Updates

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- This is the UFC 121 live blog for Diego Sanchez vs. Paulo Thiago, a welterweight bout on tonight's UFC pay-per-view from the Honda Center.

Paulo Thiago (13-2) defeated Mike Swick in February but is coming off a loss to Martin Kampmann in June. Sanchez (21-4) is trying to avoid the first three-fight skid of his career after losses to BJ Penn and John Hathaway.

The live blog is below.

Round 1: Thiago paws forward behind his jab, but Diego bursts forward with a hard right hand that lands. Sanchez shoots for a takedown but can't get it. They clinch against the fence, but neither man can get an advantage. Thiago ducks under a Sanchez punch for the body lock takedown midway through the round. Sanchez tries to turn into him from half-guard and nearly gets caught in an anaconda choke. Thiago releases him when he sees it's not there, and they move back to the center of the cage with a minute left. Sanchez charges forward with a punch combo that lands cleanly. Thiago's nose and cheek are red and swollen now. The round ends with a flurry from Thiago with many of the punches getting through. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 for Thiago.

Round 2:
Thiago backs Sanchez up against the fence with a flurry early on, but Sanchez defends well and returns the favor. Sanchez catches Thiago's foot off a kick and uses it to work for the takedown as Thiago tries an upkick on his way down. Sanchez lands on Thiago's stomach and thinks about a footlock before moving to the side. We pause briefly so the ref can warn Thiago about shots to the back of the head, and after the restart Thiago tries for a kimura that he can't quite finish. Thiago gets back to his feet, only to be scooped up and slammed by Sanchez. Sanchez is swarming all over Thiago from the back, peppering him with hammerfists. Thiago slips out the backdoor just before the round ends and offers some offense of his own. The crowd is on their feet at the horn. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 for Sanchez.

Round 3:
Thiago hammers Sanchez with a right as he comes in, then tries to transition to a takedown but ends up going to his back in half-guard. Sanchez pounds on his ribs from the top. Thiago looks for another kimura, but nothing doing. Thiago rolls and Sanchez takes his back, locking in the body triangle. Sanchez tries for a rear naked choke, but Thiago defends and Sanchez settles from battering his shoulder blades with punches. Thiago manages to dump Sanchez off his back, but when he tries to stand he stumbles backwards and goes down. The best he can do is try and catch Sanchez with an upkick as he charges in. Again Thiago dumps Sanchez off his back and nearly locks in an anaconda, but Sanchez slips out. Sanchez stings Thiago with punches from the top in the final seconds, while Thiago, from the bottom in the mount position, throws frantic, blind punches of his own until the final horn. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 for Sanchez.

Diego Sanchez def. Paulo Thiago via unanimous decision (30-26, 29-28, 29-28)
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