It's official: as long as you move forward and throw strikes -- whether they land or not -- mixed martial arts judges across the land will award you a decision.
Martin Kampmann didn't just outland Diego Sanchez in all three rounds, but mashed his face to the point that Joe Rogan looked uncomfortable staring at it up close in the post-fight interview. Unfortunately for Kampmann, moving backwards, countering, and stuffing takedowns is not Effective Fight Strategy according to the official magistrates of the sport.
Also unfortunate for Kampmann? His boss, UFC President Dana White, agreed with the official decision, so he won't receive the same benefit of the doubt bestowed upon Evan Dunham when judges awarded Sean Sherk the victory at UFC 119.
I imagine tonight's result will further fuel the debate about judges and the judging criteria and the ten-point must system. It's a worthwhile conversation, but making changes to the judging framework won't make a difference if it's left in the hands of officials unable or unwilling to implement it.
- On the conference call for this fight, one point I took note of was Diego talk about putting a focus on weight gain and a new strength and conditioning program. He definitely put on some pounds for the fight, looking more like the middleweight that we saw on the Ultimate Fighter than we've seen in a long while. The strength gain came with its costs though. Sanchez wasn't able to push the same pace that we're used to seeing from him, and he lost a lot of his speed. A lot. I think that explains a large part of Martin Kampmann's ability to stifle fourteen of fifteen takedown attempts.
- I hate to harp on this after every event, but Joe Rogan cannot complain about bad judging decisions while supplicating the idea that a single takedown can "steal" a round.
- Martin Kampmann needs to avoid getting caught in firefights, especially with his back against the cage. I thought he fared well in those exchanges tonight, but, without a lot of power, he can't land the knockout blow that makes that risk worthwhile.
- No complaints about the stoppage in the Mark Munoz/C.B. Dollaway fight. It might have been a little sudden, but Dollaway was in a bad spot there. It looked to me like Munoz shut his lights off, then turned them back on with the follow-up.
- That said, Dollaway looked crisp in the first fifty seconds of the fight...
- Though they failed miserable at the top of the card, props to all three judges for giving Chris Weidman each round on the cards. While Joe and Mike were raving about Alessio Sakara's combinations and leg kicks, Weidman was covering up to deflect blows and landing punches to Sakara's face.
- This is starting to sound a Joe Rogan roast, but I also disagreed with him calling for Weidman to work for a finish. Weidman was making his UFC debut in his fifth professional fight. On two weeks' notice. Alessio Sakara, for all of his faults, is still a dangerous fighter if you let him fight at range. Weidman made the smart decision to control Sakara on the floor and keep working with strikes.
- August 3, 2008: Brian Bowles defeats Damacio Page by guillotine choke at 3:30 of round 1. March 3, 2011: Brian Bowles defeats Damacio Page by guillotine choke at 3:30 of round 1.
[UPDATE] - FightMetric posted their report for the main event, which differs greatly from the numbers provided by CompuStrike in real time. What doesn't change? Martin Kampmann won that fight.