clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Diego Sanchez: Heart Led to Win over Martin Kampmann at UFC on Versus

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – When both the winner and loser wind up at the hospital after their main event, it's pretty hard to argue against Fight of the Night.

Diego Sanchez and Martin Kampmann slugged their way to a bloody 29-28 unanimous decision for Sanchez to close out the UFC's debut in Kentucky, UFC on Versus 3, on Thursday. When the scores were read, many in the crowd appeared to be stunned at the decision. But perhaps no one was more surprised than Kampmann.

"Yes I did – I thought I won the fight," Kampmann told Joe Rogan after the fight. "I think I won all three rounds. If you take a look at his face ... I definitely feel I won the fight. I was throwing way more clean shots. Diego's a tough warrior, but I'm very disappointed."

Sanchez (23-4, 12-4 UFC) said the win, for him, was all about showing his perseverance.

"I showed I have a lot of heart and I'm going to give the fans what they want to see, and that's the bottom line," Sanchez said before a trip to the hospital. "I got the 'W' and that's what matters."

Sanchez appeared perhaps tentative in the first round, and his takedown attempts were continually stuffed by Kampmann (17-5, 8-4 UFC). In the second, Sanchez again looked for takedowns – and again was stopped by Kampmann each time.

But Sanchez, himself bloodied, opened up a cut near Kampmann's right eye midway through the second round – and from that point on, he appeared to have a burst of confidence and came forward quicker than he had showed the first half of the fight. It was perhaps that aggressiveness that the judges looked favorably on.

In the third round, after coming short on each takedown attempt to that point, Sanchez finally landed one. FightMetric.com's stats had Sanchez landing that lone takedown in 15 attempts. Though Kampmann wasn't on the ground long, Sanchez spent the last 90 seconds coming forward, throwing bombs, and that looked to clinch the round – and the fight – for the Season 1 middleweight "Ultimate Fighter" champion.

"I'm feeling the pure ecstasy of a war," Sanchez said. "A lot of UFC fighters dream about finishing a fight in the first round. But that was a war ... these are the ones you don't forget."

Sanchez and Kampmann won the UFC's Fight of the Night bonus award, which was bumped up from $40,000 to $60,000 by UFC president Dana White.

In the co-main event, former NCAA Division I All-American wrestlers CB Dollaway and Mark Munoz met in what many expected to be a wrestling showcase. But Munoz put that to bed quickly, scoring a TKO just 54 seconds into the first round.

Though Dollaway seemed to protest Mario Yamasaki's stoppage, he appeared to be out after two shots on the ground from Munoz.

"I'm always going to say my standup's my weakness, and I work really hard (at improving it)," Munoz said. "It's awesome to see the improvement every day."

In other action on the main card, which aired live on Versus from the KFC Yum! Center in downtown Louisville, UFC newcomer Chris Weidman beat veteran Alessio Sakara in a unanimous decision; and former WEC bantamweight champion Brian Bowles submitted Damacio Page with a guillotine 3:30 into the first – the same method and time he beat Page with in their first meeting two and a half years ago.

Bowles won a $40,000 Submission of the Night bonus award. The Knockout of the Night went to Shane Roller for his win over Thiago Tavares.