LOUISVILLE, Ky. – You can question the nickname change of Diego Sanchez from “The Nightmare” to “The Dream,” but you can never question his heart.
Sanchez looked seriously outmatched in the first round of his main event bout with Martin Kampmann at tonight’s “UFC Live 3” event on Versus, completely unable to secure a single take down, and getting completely out-gunned in the stand up battle.
Martin Kampmann used laser-precise strikes to decimate the defense of Sanchez in the first stanza, bloodying the face of Sanchez early, and dropping him with a straight counter right hand. However, Sanchez remained aggressive, coming forward and throwing looping flurries of punches despite being beat to the punch repeatedly from Kampmann’s arrow straight strikes.
Sanchez would turn the tide in the second, when he turned the fight into a brawl, coming forward with big, looping combinations, and keeping Kampmann defending take downs against the cage. Kampmann continued to land the cleaner punches, but the judges may have been swayed with the big flurries from Sanchez.
With seconds to go in the second stanza, Sanchez landed a right hand that stunned Kampmann, but with both guys landing in the big exchanges, it was anybody’s guess as to what the scorecards read going into the final round.
Sanchez finally got his first take down in the third, but Kampmann effectively canceled it out, quickly getting back to his feet, and landing a knee from the clinch before disengaging. A bloodied and battered Sanchez continued to come forward, and both guys engaged in a final flurry that capped off a thrilling 15 minute affair.
In the end, Diego Sanchez (23-4 MMA, 12-4 UFC) was awarded a unanimous decision victory.
Mark Munoz finishes C.B. Dollaway
In a match-up of two wrestlers, it would be a couple of big right hands in the stand up game that would make the difference between winning and losing.
Instead of staying on the ground with Munoz, Dollaway chose to back off and let Munoz get back to his feet, and it would prove to be his downfall.
After eating a body shot, Munoz closed the distance on Dollaway and uncorked a well placed right hook that stunned “The Doberman.” Seeing an opportunity to put the fight away, Munoz came forward and followed up with a short uppercut that dropped Dollaway.
Munoz pounced, unleashing two huge hammerfists that appeared to put Dollaway out for a moment. The referee stepped in and stopped the bout just as Dollaway appeared to recover.
Munoz improves to 10-2 overall and 5-2 in the UFC Octagon. Dollaway (11-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) loses his first fight in over a year after putting together a 3-fight winning streak.
Chris Weidman lives up to the hype, dominates Alessio Sakara
There was a lot of buzz about the wrestling of Chris Weidman, and tons of hype surrounding his UFC debut. Weidman was impressive under the big lights and pressure of the UFC, as he dominated Alessio Sakara over three rounds.
Sakara was able to avoid the take downs of Weidman early, implementing his game plan to perfection with multiple punch/kick combos that found their mark easily. Weidman’s stand up was a bit shaky early, but the second round would prove to be the turning point for him.
Weidman came out in the second and immediately put Sakara on his back with a quick single leg take down. Weidman wasted little time attacking from the top, and opened up the forehead of Sakara with an arcing elbow that started the blood flowing. Sakara managed to sweep Weidman as time wound down on the second stanza, but soon found himself on his back again.
Sakara managed to get off his back once again, and after a brief stoppage to have the doctor look at the cut, Sakara started to land brutal body shots to close the round.
Sakara appeared to be down 2 rounds to none after two, and showed a sense of urgency in the final frame, re-commencing his attack to the body of Weidman. However, the strategy was short lived as Weidman quickly used his superior wrestling to put Sakara on the mat once again, controlling him from the top for the rest of the round.
The judges would decide the winner after a bloody, 15 minute fight, and when they did, all three scored the bout in favor of Chris Weidman (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
The debut win for Chris Weidman moves him to a perfect 5-0 overall (1-0 UFC).
Brian Bowles defeats Damacio Page by guillotine… again
Damacio Page started quickly, with an array of flying strikes, attacking Brian Bowles from the start. Page continued the onslaught with stiff leg kicks, and winging punches from just outside the range of Bowles.
Bowles remained patient, throwing the straighter punches, and once he connected with a short uppercut that stunned Page, the beginning of the end was in sight.
Bowles followed Page to the ground and delivered some nice ground-and-pound from the top, then switched to elbow strikes forcing Page to scramble. Page looked for an arm bar attempt, but Bowles easily postured up and stepped away from the submission attempt.
Seeing an opening and a chance to reverse position, Page scrambled for the leg of Bowles, but found himself in tight guillotine once Bowles fell back into guard. Before Page even had the opportunity to tap, he was rendered unconscious, suffering his second defeat to Bowles.
The win punctuates the return of Bowles (9-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) after nearly a year away from the sport due to an injury he sustained in his WEC championship last march against Dominick Cruz.