Photo by Tracy Lee Yahoo! Sports
Against Mike Swick, Paulo Thiago never looked better. Against Martin Kampmann, he never looked worse. As for Diego Sanchez, his poor performance against BJ Penn at lightweight was supposed to be mitigated by a triumphant return to welterweight against Brit John Hathaway. That didn't happen. Heading into their bout at UFC 121, Diego Sanchez and Paulo Thiago both need not only a win, but an impressive one.
A complete back and forth affair.
In the first round the Brazilian special forces fighter took the round. He had better strikes and even controlled space on the ground. But that wasn't enough and the story of Sanchez's cardio were to tell the whole tale.
But by the second round, it was all Diego Sanchez. There was a back and forth including an epic elevator sweep by Paulo Thiago, but nothing doing. Sanchez was still able to control the space and win with takedowns. Third round was a complete clinic by Diego Sanchez. There was an upkick that mildly threatened, but it was all cardio and all positional dominance by the Greg Jackson product. He was able to control Thiago througout the entire frame and even unloaded more on Thiago during the final seconds of the third and final round.
The judges score 30-26, 29-28, 29-28, Diego Sanchez by unanimous decision.