Jake Shields, the former Strikeforce middleweight champion and one of the UFC's biggest acquisition's since Brock Lesnar, was ready to make UFC 121 his coming out party for UFC fans. Martin Kampmann, coming off the best win of his career against Paulo Thiago at UFC 115, was set to be the spoiler.
The first round began with Shield able to land a single leg and movement direclty to side control. He was able to briefly achieve mount, but was Kampmann was able to stand right back up. Neither fighter was able to execute much, but Shields clearly took the first frame.
In the second round Shields took two monster knees but was able to recover position when it mattered. There were several instances where Kampmann was able to reverse or threaten with strikes of his own, but there was nothing doing.
In third round, however, Kampann was resisting most of the grappling efforts of Shields and even taking dominant positions him. He was certainly able to hurt him thought the course of the round. However, with roughly a minute left, Shields was able to get Kampmann's back and hold the position to ride out the round.
The judges score the fight 29-28 Kampmann, 30-27 Shields, 29-27 Shields to win a split decision.