A win for either man would be pivotal moving forward in the welterweight class. At the time, Diego was coming in after an unsuccessful stint as a lightweight where he failed to capture the title from then champ BJ Penn. A subsequent loss to prospect John Hathaway upon his welterweight return was simmered when Sanchez stormed back with a dominant win over the gritty Paulo Thiago. Kampmann, meanwhile, was on the heels of a two-fight win streak which was snapped by UFC debutant Jake Shields, who scored a debatable split-decision win over the Xtreme Couture product, which later warranted him a shot at the welterweight title.
So both Diego and Martin had a lot to gain and a lot to lose come fight time, and it showed in how the fight developed. Kampmann relied on his impressive striking skills to bust open Sanchez early, knocking down “The Ultimate Fighter” winner inside of the first-round. The next few rounds become a little bit blurred, as Martin continued to tag Diego on occasion, though the Greg Jackson product waded in with reckless abandonment with hooks that scored, and even secured a few takedowns of his own.
In the end, Diego earned the unanimous decision, to the dismay of Kampmann who felt he had done enough to win the fight.
It’s been almost five-months since the bout, and both men are on different trajectories. Sanchez is preparing for arguably his most high profile challenge to date as he takes on former two-time champion, Matt Hughes this September. Martin, meanwhile, was meant to return to the Octagon last month, however a subsequent knee injury has sidelined him for the time being. It’s an annoying injury that has peered it’s ugly head one too many times.
“I hurt my knee. I’ve had a lot of surgeries, three surgeries done on my knee before, so it’s a little withered and I hurt it again”, said ‘The Hitman’ to MMATraining.com
“Fortunately I decided not to get any surgery done on it this time, I’ve had plenty of surgeries on it, so I just tried to let it recover by itself, giving it time to rest. It’s not one-hundred percent yet, but it’s definitely feeling a lot better.
“I’m back in training now, but there’s still some stuff that I can’t do, so that’s where I have to be careful. I’m training now, it’s still bothering me some, but it’s still a lot better from where it was a month ago.”
Once he’s healed, Kampmann is open to any match, but of course Sanchez still tickles his fancy, now that things have become more personal. Doesn’t it always when the “B” bomb is thrown into the equation?
“We had a little heated twitter (exchange) back and forth, because he started talking a little (expletive) I thought…it was an exciting fight, so I’m pretty sure that people would want to see the second fight”, said the 29-year-old Dane.
“I respect him, he’s a tough guy, a tough fighter, but I thought he was saying some stupid things on twitter. He was hitting me up on his twitter after the fight. I thought I won the fight and he thought he won it, that’s how it is, but he was hitting me up, being kind of a smartass and that kind of pissed me off so I just replied to his tweets of me. I might have called him a (expletive), I have to go look at it. If I called him a b****, he probably had it coming.”
Needless to say, it wasn’t without cause:
“that’s a big smile man !!!feels great to get your hand raised!!! My hand my hand you Lil actor hand wasn’t broke #soreloser”, tweeted ‘The Dream’ in early April.
“@Skeenito69 honestly I don’t care it just shows @MartinKampmann ‘s Character of a sore loser and a cry baby it’s hard to respect him after (sic)”.
To which Kampmann responded in kind “@DiegoSanchez505 since you keep bringing it up. I got the better of you, fight me again and stop being a b***”.
Martin only makes one promise if the two should meet in the Octagon again.
“Second time around I’m not going to let it go to a decision, I’m going to finish him.