The main event of the UFC on FX 2: "Alves vs. Kampmann" fight card that took place tonight (Fri., March 2, 2012) in Sydney, Australia, featured a welterweight war pitting former title challenger Thiago Alves against Danish striker Martin Kampmann.
Though they're both perennial contenders in the 170-pound division, they both came into the evening severely lacking in they hype that once surrounded them in their earlier careers. An impressive win would go a long way in getting that back.
That's exactly what Kampmann recorded, though it didn't happen the way he likely wanted it to. Alves controlled most of the fight, save for a brief moment in the first round that saw a front kick rock him backwards. In the third, as he seemed to be comfortably ahead, the Brazilian had his Danish opponent against the cage and seeing stars.
So he went for a takedown.
That turned out to be a terrible decision because it allowed Kampmann to lock on a guillotine choke and squeeze so tight, Alves was forced to tap. He was roughly one minute away from victory and got tapped from a guy he had rocked just seconds before.
Not surprisingly, Alves landed a solid few punches and a leg kick to get things rolling, which quickly led to Kampmann shooting for a takedown. When he didn't get it, he unleashed a front kick that caught "The Pitbull" clean on the jaw and sent him backwards.
"The Hitman" tried to capitalize with a blitzkrieg of punches and knees but failed to finish what he started. Not only that, he allowed Alves to recover. Before long, the Brazilian had taken control of the fight, executing a takedown and passing to full mount.
Yes, Thiago Alves did this, ladies and sirs.
They exchanged punches in the second round, going punch for punch with each other in the center of the cage. Fight Metric reports from UFC showed that Alves had a 42-23 edge in strikes at this point, about halfway through the second frame. Volume isn't everything, of course, but Kampmann's face was showing the wear and tear of the fight.
By the end of the frame, Alves -- the heavy guy who traditional struggles just to make weight -- looked the fresher of the two while Kampmann was fading faster and faster.
Round three showcased how far ahead of the Dane Alves really was. Though he could have looked far better than he did, Thiago stalked his opponent and overwhelmed him with shots. He hurt Kampmann and instead of attempting to finish with punches, he shot in for a takedown.
Turned out to spell doom for him.
That's because Kampmann locked in a guillotine and forced a tap with around one minute left in the fight. This is a crushing loss for Alves, who was well on his way to victory.
What a comeback, though, huh?