Sanchez Expected Easy Takedowns Against Kampmann

By Staff Mar 14, 2011
Diego Sanchez (above) was surprised by Martin Kampmann’s takedown defense. | Dave Mandel/

Diego Sanchez found a way to outpoint Martin Kampmann at UFC Live 3, but he wasn’t able to execute his strategy.

“Martin was a big [welterweight]. He surprised me with his takedown defense,” Sanchez said recently on Bruce Buffer’s “It’s Time” radio show. “I had trained for a wrestling fight. I really did. I was expecting to just take him down at will. In that cage, the canvas is a little slippery on the bare feet, but I kept at it. It showed me I need to get stronger.”

Sanchez won the March 3 bout via unanimous decision. Kampmann busted him up in the opening round, but Sanchez rallied back in the second and third.

“When you get injured as a fighter, you get cut, you know that the fight could be stopped,” Sanchez said. “In me anyway, when I get cut, it brings something out of me like a sense of urgency, a sense to fight harder. That’s what happened in the fight. I got cut and I was like, ‘All right, I better leave it all out there.’”

Both fighters took some good shots in the fight. Sanchez looked worse, but he kept moving forward. Despite the accuracy of Kampmann’s punches, Sanchez didn’t believe they could stop him.

“I just felt like he couldn’t hurt me with his punches,” he said. “I felt like he wasn’t going to daze me. I didn’t get dazed at all in the whole fight. Not one of his punches really dazed me. I got cut, but I was never hurt. I had my legs the whole fight. My vision was fine.”

The win was Sanchez’s second straight. He was coming off back-to-back losses to B.J. Penn and John Hathaway when he reunited with coach Greg Jackson. Since training again with the New Mexico-based camp, he has two quality wins and is climbing the welterweight ladder.

“I’m just in a good place right now,” Sanchez said. “I’m in the right place. I’m surrounded by the right people. I’ve been through so much in my career that right now I’m at a mature age where I’m just like, ‘All right, I’m going to give this a go 100 percent and do things right and try to earn it.’ I just want to try to earn it. I want to earn the world championship. One fight at a time, just work hard and earn it. That’s what I’m going to do.”

Listen to the full interview (beginning at 14:20).

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