“UFC Live 3: Sanchez vs. Kampmann” takes place Thursday, March 3, at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky. The main card, headlined by a welterweight bout between Diego “The Dream” Sanchez vs. Martin “The Hitman” Kampmann, will air LIVE on Versus at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT. Prior to that, two preliminary card bouts will air LIVE on Facebook (www.facebook.com/UFC) at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT.
The ProMMAnow.com (www.prommanow.com) staff has once again put on their thinking caps to provide you with top flight analysis, expert commentary and best guesses for each fight on the card. We would love to hear your thoughts and picks for each fight too.
EDITOR’S NOTE: UFC Live 3 is now in the books. Complete fight results can be found here: UFC Live 3 results and play-by-play.
Diego Sanchez (24-4) vs. Martin Kampmann (17-4)
ODDS: Diego Sanchez +120 vs. Martin Kampmann -150
JOHN BUHL: Here’s to hoping that Kampmann learned his lesson against Jake Shields — don’t grapple with a grappler. Get back to your feet and punch them in the face. I’m not sold on Diego being able to get this fight to the ground unless his new strength and conditioning program has suddenly turned him into a full-sized welterweight. Kampmann by decision. LOSE!
DENNY HODGE: This is going to be a tough fight for Sanchez. Kampmann has continually improved on the ground, and he will have a hefty advantage on the feet. Sanchez will get his take downs, but will not be able to hold Kampmann down well enough to inflict major damage. Kampmann by decision. LOSE!
KELVIN HUNT: If Sanchez can get the takedown…I think he can win this…Shields was able to take Kampmann down…but he’s much larger than Sanchez…probably a better wrestler too…Sanchez’s pace is incredible though…ehh…I’m go with Sanchez via decision. WIN!
RICHARD MANN: For someone without a formal wrestling background, Kampmann has picked up the game pretty well. On top of that, Sanchez has never been a dynamite takedown guy. If this fight stays on the feet, Kampmann will have a huge advantage. He should have very little trouble staying away from Sanchez’s looping strikes and landing his counters. Even if the fight goes to the ground, the “Hitman” is proficient enough to stay out of trouble. Pick = Martin Kampmann. LOSE!
BRIAN FURBY: Martin Kampmann. LOSE!
JACK BRATCHER: This is a very interesting fight. When Diego is “on” he can beat just about anyone in the world. He’s gotten back to his roots at Jackson’s and living in Albuquerque again, and I think he is in a good spot with his life and training right now. Kampmann is so solid though and I think it’s going to come down to if Kampmann can keep the fight standing, as I think that’s where he will have the best advantage. For some reason I’m leaning toward Diego in this one and I think it has more to do with his energy right now than anything. I see him coming out with high energy, a fast pace and I’m going to say Sanchez via submission. WIN!
C.B. Dollaway (12-3) vs. Mark Munoz (9-2)
ODDS: C.B. Dollaway +145 vs. Mark Munoz -185
JOHN BUHL: Although Dollaway’s submission defense was very suspect until recently, his grappling has definitely improved (see: submission over Joe Doerksen). I think Dollaway is the quicker of the two and will out-strike Munoz on the feet. Dollaway by decision. LOSE!
DENNY HODGE: Both guys are wrestlers, so this fight will come down to another discipline. Expect Munoz to get off on the feet more regularly and effectively. I just have a feeling that fans will be impressed by Munoz in this one. Munoz by TKO. WIN!
KELVIN HUNT: Munoz has more power…better wrestler…Munoz via TKO. WIN!
RICHARD MANN: On paper Munoz is the more accomplished wrestler. I also think that Dollaway relies on his wrestling game more in MMA. For example, in a lot of his fights he will test the waters on the feet and go right into wrestling mode. That is not a luxury he will have in this fight. Outside of the maybe the submission game, Munoz has adapted to MMA better. He should be able to work the same kind of clinch game he used against Dollaway’s teammate Aaron Simpson and take home a win. Pick = Mark Munoz. WIN!
BRIAN FURBY: Mark Munoz. WIN!
JACK BRATCHER: Mark Munoz trains with some of the best fighters in the world at Kings MMA. I think he has better people to work with on a daily basis than does Dollaway. Both guys have a strong wrestling base and Munoz will have to be careful of Dollaway’s submission game, but in the end I see Munoz getting this one, probably via decision. WIN!
Alessio Sakara (19-7, 1 NC) vs. Chris Weidman (4-0)
ODDS: Alessio Sakara +190 vs. Chris Weidman -250
JOHN BUHL: Sakara by TKO. And no, this win won’t mean anything for his career. LOSE!
DENNY HODGE: There will be no secrets as to what each guy wants to do in this one. Sakara has a huge advantage in the stand up game, while Weidman is a wrestler and will likely try to take the fight there. The experience difference is substantial not to mention that this is Weidman’s debut – on short notice. Sakara will be able to defend against submissions on the ground and will win the fight while it’s on the feet. Sakara by decision. LOSE!
KELVIN HUNT: I like Weidman here…they wouldn’t have given him this fight if they didn’t think he could beat Sakara. I think he takes Sakara down and GnP’s him out or wins a decision. WIN!
RICHARD MANN :I have never been this excited to watch a Sakara fight. By all accounts, Weidman is a legitimate prospect. He is undefeated, a two-time NJCAA All-American, a two-time NCAA All-American and nearly tapped Andre Galvao at the 2009 ADCC. Sakara may seem like a straight striker, but he went the distance with Thales Leites. I favor Weirdman. However, considering the recent struggles of Ring of Combat veterans, Gian Villante and Ricardo Romero, this should be an interesting test for Weidman. Pick = Chris Weidman. WIN!
BRIAN FURBY: Alessio Sakara. LOSE!
JACK BRATCHER: Chris Weidman is from the Ray Longo school of striking, but he’s still a relative newcomer to the stand-up world. And while Sakara has a big experience advantage in the Octagon, Weidman is an exceptional grappler. Notice the odds for this fight. You don’t often see a newcomer being that much of a favorite over a veteran like Sakara, and it is primarily due to Weidman’s ground game. Sakara is going to want to keep this one standing, and if he can, he could finish Weidman with strikes. But I don’t see that happening. Weidman did take this one on short notice but I still think he’ll be able to get the decision. WIN!
Brian Bowles (8-1) vs. Damacio Page (12-5)
ODDS: Brian Bowles -280 vs. Damacio Page +220
JOHN BUHL: Interesting rematch here. If both guys were fresh, I’d take Bowles to come away with the victory in a high octane slugfest. The problem is Bowles hasn’t fought since March 2010. Page had a long layoff too, but got some (not all) of the rust off against Demetrius Johnson at WEC 52. I think Bowles is the more technical boxer and will maybe take this by third round stoppage, but I wouldn’t put money on this one. WIN!
DENNY HODGE:I love the heart of Damacio Page, but I think Bowles will be too much for him in this one. Bowles by submission. WIN!
KELVIN HUNT: Bowles beat him once…he’ll do it again….lookout for the cage rust from Bowles though…I’m go with him via decision. WIN!
RICHARD MANN: It is shocking that Bowles has only been out of action for a year. It feels like it has been five years. Bowles really burst onto the scene in 2007 with back-to-back wins over Charlie Valencia and then top-ten fighter Marcos Galvao. He road that momentum all the way to the WEC title. Despite his success he seems like a jack of all trades, yet not really exceptional in one area. Page is susceptible to another guillotine choke, but he could easily win by scoring takedowns and staying on top. Also, any layoff over 10 months really sets a fighter back. Pick = Damacio Page. LOSE!
BRIAN FURBY: Brian Bowles. WIN!
JACK BRATCHER: Bowles beat Page once and he will do it again. This is a rematch from 2008 when Bowles submitted Page via first round guillotine. And what did Page lose his last fight by? Guillotine, to Demetrious Johnson. Bowles’ only loss is to the bantamweight Fred Astaire, Dominick Cruz, and he broke his hand in that fight. Bowles has finished every opponent but Cruz. Look for Bowles to stun Page with a big shot, pounce, and submit. WIN!
Joe Stevenson (36-12) vs. Danny Castillo (10-3)
ODDS: Joe Stevenson -145 vs. Danny Castillo +115
JOHN BUHL: Castillo is too big and hungry in this one. Really tough match-up for Stevenson; he’ll have a tough time using his boxing, and Castillo has more than good enough wrestling and sparring partners (Mendes, Faber, etc.) to keep this fight on the feet where he wants it. Castillo by decision. WIN!
DENNY HODGE: Stevenson will want this fight on the ground so he can dictate the pace and action, but will have his hands full in this one. Castillo is aggressive and will be dangerous when the fight is standing, but I’m going with Stevenson to out work and then submit Castillo. LOSE!
KELVIN HUNT: Must win for Stevenson here…I think he comes through with the decision. LOSE!
RICHARD MANN: It is hard to believe that since fighting for the lightweight title, Stevenson is 3-4 in the UFC. Castillo is certainly taking this fight at the right time. However, I still think it is a bridge too far. “Last Call” struggles in fights when he does not have a huge wrestling advantage. I have clearly overrated Stevenson’s wrestling in the past, but he still should be able to avoid takedowns and maybe get top position. If the fight ends up on the floor, he is certainly the better grappler. Pick = Joe Stevenson. LOSE!
BRIAN FURBY: Danny Castillo. WIN!
JACK BRATCHER: Team Alpha Male’s Danny Castillo makes his UFC debut here, coming over from the WEC, against a veteran against the ropes who could be on the verge of getting cut from the organization if Joe Daddy loses this fight. Unfortunately for Stevenson, Castillo is the better striker and being that he’s surrounded by so many great wrestlers, he should be able to keep this one on the feet and hurt Mr. Stevenson. Look for the faster stronger Castillo to send Joe Daddy packin’ via TKO. WIN!
Steve Cantwell (7-3) vs. Cyrille Diabate (17-3-1)
ODDS: Steve Cantwell -125 vs. Cyrille Diabate -105
JOHN BUHL: If Cantwell can get this fight to the ground, I think he can submit Diabate. But with all of the injuries he’s dealt with, I have to take Cyrille by second round TKO. WIN!
DENNY HODGE: It seems like forever since we have seen Cantwell, who saw zero action in 2010. Diabate has all the striking tools needed to put Cantwell away, but Cantwell is no slouch on his feet either. He is adept at mixing up his strikes, but he will win this one on the ground. Cantwell by sub. LOSE!
KELVIN HUNT: Steve Cantwell via submission. LOSE!
RICHARD MANN: Diabate can seriously light someone up on the feet. He is long and uses a classic Muay Thai style. Normally the smart pick would be Cantwell since he is the more well rounded fighter. However, he has been out of the game for over a year. Anyone with a layoff over 10 months is going to struggle. On top of that, Diabate’s wrestling is improving inch by inch. Look for Diabate to use his technical striking skills to stay on the outside and take a decision. Pick = Cyrille Diabate. WIN!
BRIAN FURBY: Steve Cantwell. LOSE!
JACK BRATCHER: The Snake vs. The Robot… who takes it? Cantwell has had a long layoff due to injury and this is his first bout back since a Sept. 2009 decision loss to Brian Stann. Diabate is a heck of a striker and his height and reach advantage could play a factor on the feet. Look for Cantwell to put The Snake on the ground though, where this Snake is least dangerous. Cantwell via submission. LOSE!
Thiago Tavares (19-3-1) vs. Shane Roller (9-3)
ODDS: Thiago Tavares OFF vs. Shane Roller -120
JOHN BUHL: Tavares has had tough times against wrestlers with good submission defense in the past. But Roller, while an accomplished wrestler, isn’t all that known for mixing his takedowns into MMA all that well. Still, coming off of a big win over Jamie Varner, Roller is going to keep improving. Roller by decision. WIN!
DENNY HODGE: Roller has a huge advantage in the wrestling department but will have to be cautious in the guard of the very dangerous Tavares. Roller will likely try to grind out Tavares with a smothering top game, but I’m going with Tavares by decision. LOSE!
KELVIN HUNT: Roller via decision. WIN!
RICHARD MANN: Roller should be able to get takedowns, do some work from the top and avoid submissions. He doesn’t normally do a lot of damage from the top position, but he would be wise to ground and pound instead of going for submissions. Tavares is a slick grappler, but he can struggle against positional dominant wrestlers. Pick = Shane Roller. WIN!
BRIAN FURBY: Shane Roller. WIN!
JACK BRATCHER: Roller the wrestler is going to have an edge over Tavares the BJJ black belt, in that he should be able to maintain control on the ground without getting submitted. Roller has developed a strong submission game himself under the tutelage of Marc Laimon and while he probably won’t submit Tavares, he shouldn’t get submitted either. The striking in this one will be somewhat rudimentary but it could turn into a fun grappling match. Roller by decision. WIN!
Takeya Mizugaki (13-5-2) vs. Reuben Duran (7-2-1)
ODDS: Takeya Mizugaki -210 vs. Reuben Duran +170
JOHN BUHL: Mizugaki by third round TKO. WIN!
DENNY HODGE: Mizugaki will redeem himself after a pretty bad loss in his last bout. Duran is making his debut, and will lose a decision in his first UFC appearance. WIN!
KELVIN HUNT: Mizugaki via decision. WIN!
RICHARD MANN: Mizugaki looked pretty sharp early on against Urijah Faber. He might be one of the most underrated top-ten fighters on the planet. Duran brings an impressive record into the cage, but he might be in a bit over his head. His most impressive victories are over King of the Cage veterans Ryan Diaz and Greg Guzman. Look for Mizugaki to try to strike from the outside. If he struggles, he should be able to get on top and work from there. Pick = Takeya Mizugaki. WIN!
BRIAN FURBY: Takeya Mizugaki. WIN!
JACK BRATCHER: Reuben Duran takes this fight on short notice and makes his big show debut. While fighting in King of the Cage and smaller shows, Mizugaki has been mixing it up with the big boys in the WEC for the past couple of years. Duran could get the upset but I’m going with the safe pick with the more experienced Mizugaki via decision. WIN!
Rob Kimmons (23-6) vs. Dongi Yang (9-1)
ODDS: Rob Kimmons +185 vs. Dongi Yang -225
JOHN BUHL: I like Kimmons with his experience and not having to deal with a height/reach disadvantage against a similarly stocky Yang. Kimmons by decision. LOSE!
DENNY HODGE: Yang suffered the first loss of his career in his UFC debut and will be facing a tough and more experienced veteran in Kimmons. Look for Yang to be more comfortable this time around. Yang by TKO early. WIN!
KELVIN HUNT: Kimmons via decision. LOSE!
RICHARD MANN: “The Rosedale Reaper” has managed to stay above water in the UFC by alternating wins and losses in the promotion. Since he lost his last fight to Kyle Noke, he is due for a win here. Seriously, Dong Yi Yang was not ready for this level of competition when the UFC signed him, and he still isn’t ready. However, if he can use to physical tools to stay on the feet and land some nice strikes on Kimmons, he might be able to take a decision. However, Kimmons has the experience and is a solid grappler. Pick = Rob Kimmons. LOSE!
BRIAN FURBY: Rob Kimmons. LOSE!
JACK BRATCHER: Yang is going to have a nice advantage on the feet, if he can keep it there. He’s finished all nine of his victories. No decisions. Kimmons has a ton more experience but I think the younger Yang will be able to land something within three rounds to stop Mr. Kimmons. Yang via TKO. WIN!
Rousimar Palhares (20-3) vs. Dave Branch (8-1)
ODDS: Rousimar Palhares -175 vs. Dave Branch +145
JOHN BUHL: Palhares by leglock submission. WIN!
DENNY HODGE: There will likely be some ugly stand up in this one to start before Palhares puts Branch on the mat and submits him. WIN!
KELVIN HUNT: Palhares via decision. WIN!
RICHARD MANN: Branch is a solid Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, but even experienced submission guys are not prepared to deal with Palhares’ leg-lock attack. If Branch can survive early, he might be able to pick Palhares apart in the later rounds. However, Palhares should be able to do damage from the top and threaten with submissions. Pick = Rousimar Palhares. WIN!
BRIAN FURBY: Rousimar Palhares. WIN!
JACK BRATCHER: Rousimar Palhares is one of my favorite fighters to watch grapple. I also love to say his last name. He always seems one or two seconds away from ripping something off his opponent’s body. Although Branch is a Renzo Gracie student, Palhares will still have the advantage on the ground. Look for Palhares to submit Branch in the second or third. WIN!
Igor Pokrajac (22-5) vs. Todd Brown (15-2, 1 NC)
ODDS: Igor Pokrajac -240 vs. Todd Brown +190
JOHN BUHL: Draw. LOSE!
DENNY HODGE: This is likely a bout that both guys need to win to stay in the UFC. Pokrajac wins a decision to keep his job. WIN!
KELVIN HUNT: ehhh Pokrajac via submission. WIN!
RICHARD MANN: Brown is a classic Midwest veteran. He has beaten up a bunch of guys you have never heard of and lost to a guy who went 0-1 in the UFC. Pokrajac will never really wow anyone, but he is a solid fighter. He should be able to survive on the feet in this fight. If he takes it to the ground, a submission victory is his for the taking. Pick = Igor Pokrajac. WIN!
BRIAN FURBY: Igor Pokrajac. WIN!
JACK BRATCHER: Interesting match up here as both fighters need wins badly. Especially Igor. Both guys are fairly well-rounded with several wins from submission and strikes. I think Igor’s height and reach could play a role standing. I see him maybe hurting Brown on the feet then locking up a submission. Pokrajac via submission. WIN!
Note: All fight odds provided by ProMMAnow.com sponsor Linesmaker (www.linesmaker.com).