Friday, March 4, 2011 | 2:05 a.m.
Martin Kampmann needed only four words to describe why he thought he beat Diego Sanchez in Thursday’s UFC Live on Versus card in Louisville, Ky.
“Look at his face,” a stunned Kampmann said in the octagon following his unanimous-decision defeat.
Sanchez sported a mask of blood and a swollen left eye, but he was also the fighter raising his hands up in celebration after hearing the decision of the Main Event.
All three judges scored the bout 29-28 in favor of Sanchez, who won his second straight in the welterweight division.
“I thought I won the fight by putting pressure and controlling the end,” Sanchez said.
The crowd at the KFC Yum! Center booed Sanchez, perhaps agreeing with Kampmann that the decision was incorrect. Kampmann dominated the first round and received a 10-9 score on all three judges scorecards, but none of them gave him the second or third.
“I definitely feel like I won the fight,” Kampmann said. “He was throwing a lot of flurries, but most of it wasn’t landing. I feel like I was landing way more and cleaner shots.”
The statistics are in Kampmann’s favor. According to CompuStrike, Kampmann landed 97 of 207 strikes while Sanchez went only 45-for-165.
Sanchez also attempted to take Kampmann down 15 times and only succeeded once. Despite the uproar in support of Kampmann, Sanchez earned perhaps the most important defender in UFC President Dana White.
“Diego won that fight for sure,” White tweeted after the event.
It was the second UFC card in five days to end with debate still raging. The Main Event of Saturday’s UFC 127 in Sydney, Australia, concluded in a draw between Jon Fitch and B.J. Penn.
One decision that created no controversy was awarding Sanchez and Kampmann Fight of the Night honors. Both fighters took home an extra $160,000 as a bonus for their performance.
“Diego is a tough warrior,” Kampmann said. “I know he’s going to keep going, but I’m very disappointed right now. I can’t put words to this. I really felt like I won this fight.”
Below are the results from the rest of the fights on Thursday’s card.
Mark Munoz defeated C.B. Dollaway by knockout at 0:54 in the first round of their middleweight bout. Munoz improved to 5-2 in the UFC.
Chris Weidman beat Alessio Sakara via unanimous decision in a middleweight bout. All three judges scored it 30-27 for Weidman in his UFC debut.
Brian Bowles defeated Damacio Page via submission at 3:30 of the first round in a bantamweight bout. It was the second time Bowles fought Page and ended it with a rear naked choke at exactly 3:30 in the first. Bowles pocketed $40,000 for Submission of the Night honors.
Cyrille Diabate defeated Steve Cantwell via unanimous decision in their light heavyweight bout. The judges scored it 30-27, 30-26 and 30-25.
Lightweight Danny Castillo upset Joe Stevenson by unanimous decision. Two judges had the fight 29-28 in favor of Castillo, while the third scored it 30-27.
Shane Roller defeated Thiago Tavares by knockout at 1:28 of the second round. Tavares had ruled the lightweight fight up to the point Roller caught him with a straight right to end it and earn Knockout of the Night.
Takeya Mizugaki beat Reuben Duran via split decision in a bantamweight contest. The scores read 30-27 and 29-28 in favor of Mizugaki and 30-27 for Duran.
Dongi Yang defeated Rob Kimmons via TKO at 4:47 of the second round of their middleweight bout.
Rousimar Palhares submitted Dave Branch with a kneebar at 1:44 of the second round in their middleweight bout.
Light heavyweight Igor Pokrajac knocked out Todd Brown at the five-minute mark of the first round.