Diego Sanchez's face shows the handy work of Martin Kampmann (photo by Ken Pishna/MMAWeekly)

It was a close and entertaining brawl, but if you look at effective striking and damage rather than forward movement, Martin Kampmann did enough to beat Diego Sanchez at UFC Live on Versus 3 tonight. And Diego’s messed up face isn’t the only evidence.

According to Fightmetric, Kampmann had the edge. Not by a country mile, but based on damaging strikes that landed over the entire fight and going round-by-round as the judges are required, Sanchez came up short.

If you ask Bloodyelbow’s Mike Fagan, it wasn’t even close. Sherdog had three guys scoring the bout, and two gave it to Kampmann and one had it a draw. MMAJunkie? They had Kampmann earning the win. (UPDATE: you can now add MMAFighting’s Ben Fowlkes to that list.)

This wasn’t a head-scratching robbery on par with Leonard Garcia over Chan Sung Jung or Nam Phan, but it also wasn’t the close, back-and-forth kind of fight that we saw at UFC 125 between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard, which ended up as a draw.

So why bother dissecting the scoring so much here? Because it shows that the flaws in MMA judging aren’t limited to placing too much importance on takedowns — though anyone that gave Sanchez round three because of a takedown that Kampmann immediately bounced back up from could use a refresher course. When you watch a striking battle, you have to take a close look instead of favoring the guy with more volume or straightforward aggression.

As Strikeforce lightweight Jorge Masvidal recently told us, some fans and judges lean toward the guy that’s coming forward and winging punches, but it’s about the strikes that land and do damage. That’s what wins a fight.

Could Kampmann have done some things to make things more definitive? Probably. The numerous factors that go into scoring a fight could make Kampmann vs. Sanchez appear close and debatable. Still, if you ask me who took more damage, the answer is Sanchez.

13 thoughts on “The stats and the pundits suggest Martin Kampmann beat Diego Sanchez”
  1. There really is no question Kampman won this fight. He landed more shots, got the only knockdown, landed more kicks, stuffed every takedown (and when he finally got taken down he was up within 15 seconds), landed more jabs, and made Diego’s face look like a picasso painting.

  2. Let’s just say the striking was even in the first two rounds (it wasn’t). Kampmann still wins those rounds by defending the takedowns. If you read the rules “Octagon Control” is the same as “generalship” in boxing, which rewards fighters for fighting their way. If you continually stymie a fighter who is determined to put the fight on the ground, you are WINNING the rounds.

  3. Ehh lots of other pundits scored it for Sanchez…the person attempting the take-down is on the offensive…so if a fighter A is throwing all the punches but fighter B blocks them all…fighter B is winning the round? No…you don’t get points for being defensive. Kampmann clearly won round 1..and the overall striking advantage from the whole fight was because of the volume of strikes he landed in round 1. However, would you score that a 10-8 round? Doubtful.

    Rounds 2 and 3 Sanchez landed more power shots…was and was the busier fighter..and in boxing…that’s generally who wins just as the case last night.

  4. Actually blocking shots can win you a round. Go watch Mayweather or Winky Wright. They get rounds all the time on generalship by defending an opponent’s punches.

    Trying to get takedowns and blowing them is not effective aggression, it is just aggression. Coming forward and eating a ton of shots to land power punches is not effective either.

  5. Here is the direct quote from the unified rules

    “Fighting area control is judged by determining who is dictating the pace, location and position of the bout. Examples of factors to consider are countering a grappler’s attempt at takedown by remaining standing “

  6. “Trying to get takedowns and blowing them is not effective aggression, it is just aggression. Coming forward and eating a ton of shots to land power punches is not effective either.”

    He may not have gotten the takedown..but it allowed Sanchez to clinch with Kampmann…and Sanchez owned him there according to FM…51-18 in regards to significant strikes…with 41 of those significant strikes landing in rounds 2 and 3.

    To stay that Kampmann had octagon control is reaching for sure…I mean Sanchez had him backing up the last two rounds and practically running from him as the bell sounded.

    I’m not really arguing that Kampmann couldn’t have won the fight…I wouldn’t have had an issue with it..but everyone talking like Diego didn’t deserve to win that fight just as well is off basis IMO.

  7. Sanchez owned Kampmann in the clinch? I’d like to know where you’re getting those numbers from, because the FightMetric stats I’m looking at says Diego landed 13 of 31 from the clinch in round two and Kampmann landed 5 of 12. And basically all that was is Diego landing his one big flurry (and apparently still missing a lot, as was the theme). The third round, strikes from the clinch were in the single digits. Not sure where you got 51-18 from. If Sanchez literally had Kampmann running from him the last two rounds, he probably shouldn’t have continued running face-first into Kampmann’s counter-rights. That was just silly.

  8. Actually..that link isn’t correct…from that link..select the clinch tab where it says ‘select a striking position’…the tab between the rounds..

  9. To a point above by Kelvin, yes I score the first round for Kampman. The knockdown should make that clear IMO.

  10. That link is the exact same one I have above in the article. I did switch it to view the strikes from grappling, both by round and by total. I’m not talking about the pic, I toggled back and forth on the fightmetric stat page and I’m about 99.9% sure that Diego Sanchez didn’t land 51 strikes from the clinch.

    And fine, as the bell sounded and Kampmann had a broken hand he was indeed backing away. And while I won’t argue that Kampmann had octagon control (mainly because it didn’t matter), I still fail to see how Sanchez showed Octagon control by being the aggressor and getting punched in the face for his efforts.

  11. I take it back, I see where the 51-18 thing came from, but that’s got to be a typo. He landed 51 strikes total by their count, and 20 from the clinch. Otherwise FightMetric thinks Diego landed more power strikes from the clinch than total strikes from the clinch (does not compute) and didn’t land anything from distance. So no, he didn’t own him in the clinch. He had success, but the numbers (when added properly, which they screwed up) show a closer picture. 20-18 for Sanchez in “significant” strikes in the clinch, 20-20 total.

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