Report by Brady Crytzer
In Thursday night’s main event at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, KY, Diego Sanchez worked through two swollen eyes and a bleeding mouth to defeat Martin “The Hitman” Kampmann via unanimous decision in an exciting welterweight bout.
With both fighters seeking a sense of direction in the respective careers, Sanchez and Kampmann knew that a win on Thursday may not grant them a title shot, but it would put them back in the running for a contenders fight. Sanchez had made a career being known as “The Nightmare,” but Thursday night he officially changed his nickname to “The Dream” – it was anything but that for the former lightweight title challenger.
Kampmann, a former Danish National Kickboxing Champion, would find success early by battered Sanchez badly with short, calculated jabs and hooks. Though Sanchez was anxious to engage, he appeared overmatched in the first period and was knocked down with a right cross. At the end of the stanza Sanchez was already bleeding badly from the mouth.
In the second Sanchez began to land with looping punches that stunned his taller opponent. Though he was not as polished as his pedigreed opponent, Sanchez resorted to wild, brawling tactics that forced the technician Kampmann backward into the cage. Smelling blood, Sanchez scored time and again with wild looping hooks that rattled the Xtreme Couture product. Though “The Hitman” was hurt by the blows, he was able to escape the predicament and land some short, damaging blows that began to swell the face of Sanchez as the round came to an end.
The brawling tactics of Sanchez appeared to be working, and they continued in round three. Unfortunately when fighting an accurate striker like Kampmann, unorthodox tactics come at a price. As Sanchez would back “The Hitman” up with relentless pressure and wild shots, he would himself eat many short, piercing blows that badly disfigured his face. With blood pouring from both eyes and his mouth, Sanchez would continue to press Kampmann and the fighers would trade blows as time expired. With only ten seconds left, Kampmann was willing to trade, but it was Sanchez who was pursuing him.
Sanchez, badly bruised, bloodied, and swollen appeared to have swayed the judges with his relentless pressure and sheer tenacity.
Scorecards all read the same, 29-28 in favor of Sanchez.
A horribly beaten and swollen Sanchez gave all glories to God for the win, while the disappointed Kampmann confessed that he thought he won all three rounds.
Munoz Ready for the Best
Mark Munoz cemented his place in the middleweight division by knocking out CB Dolloway in just :54 seconds with a right hook.
Considered by many to be a battle of middleweight hopefuls with title implications, California’s Mark Munoz proved that he belongs at the top of the heap in the 185 lb. weight class. Dolloway, a standout wrestler, began using his natural reach advantage to pepper Munoz with hard kicks to the legs and body. As Munoz moved into to produce offense, Dolloway was able to snatch the leg of his opponent and take him to the ground. With Munoz now on his back, Dolloway backed off and allowed his opponent to stand.
The mistake would be a costly one as Munoz was able to quickly score with a blasting overhand right that floored Dolloway. Munoz followed up with some short ground n’ pound and the fight was stopped quickly by Referee Mario Yamasaki.
The official time was just :54 seconds into the first round.
Wiedman Struggles Early, Grinds Out Win
Middleweight Chris Wiedman made his UFC debut a successful one by defeating Alessio Sakara via unanimous decision. All cards read the same, 30-27.
In the opening period it was the highly skilled hands of the veteran Sakara that made early waves as he kept the one-dimensional wrestling based Wiedman at a distance and picked him apart with well-placed punches. Though the Italian was controlling the fight, he was hit with punch that opened an especially gruesome cut over his right eye. For the remainder of the period Wiedman, the NCAA All-American, struggled to take his opponent down while Sakara was clearly bothered by his bloody forehead. In the second period the bleeding continued and Sakara, who was riding a four-fight win streak, became increasingly distracted. Wiedman found success with the takedown and controlled the period from the top position.
In the final round it was the debuting Wiedman who was able to assert his will as he took Sakara to the mat several times. Though Sakara held his own against the powerful wrestler, the incessant bleeding from his forehead made the struggle very slippery and inhibited him from any further offense.
Scorecards all read the same, 30-27, in favor of Wiedman.
Former Champ Bowles Impresses in UFC Debut
Former world bantamweight champion Brian Bowles weathered and early storm and choked out his opponent Damacio Page at 3:30 of the first round.
Page, a Greg Jackson product and training partner of world welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre, rushed toward Bowles at the start of the bout and unloaded on the former title holder with a flurry of shots. After being stung by the fiery Page, Bowles began to backpedal and pick his shots in a matador-like fashion. Following some kicks, Bowles was able grapple his opponent to the mat. Next, using a move that he considers to be his personal favorite, Bowles locked in a tight arm-in guillotine choke; Page resisted valiantly but eventually went unconscious.
The fight was stopped at 3:30.
Undercard Results: WEC Newcomers Shine Against UFC Vets
Light heavyweight Cyrille Diabate defeated Steve Cantwell via unanimous decision. Scores read 30-25, 30-26, and 30-27.
Lightweight Danny Castillo defeated Joe Stevenson via unanimous decision. Scores read 29-28 twice and 30-27.
WEC standout Shane Roller shocked opponent Thiago Tavares when he stopped him cold with a right cross at 1:28 of the second round.
Bantamweight Takeya Mizugaki defeated Reuben Duran via split decision. Scorecards read 30-27 twice and 29-28.
Dongi Yang stopped opponent Rob Kimmons in the second round via TKO after a flurry of unanswered punches. The end came at 4:47.
Middleweight Rousimar Palhares submitted Dave Branch with a wrenching heel hook at 1:44 of the second round.
Light heavyweight Igor Pokrajac TKO’ed Todd Brown at the end of the first period with a hard knee. The end came at 5:00.