Whether it was out of true admiration for a fantastic fight or guilt about the controversial decision, Dana White and the UFC made sure that Diego Sanchez and Martin Kampmann were well compensated for their main event performance last night at UFC on Versus 3, which ended in a unanimous 29-28 decision for Sanchez after three gory, action-packed rounds. While the event’s other bonus-winners — Shane Roller (Knockout of the Night) and Brian Bowles (Submission of the Night) — took home $40,000 bumps, Sanchez and Kampmann were first told that their Fight of the Night bonuses would be $60,000, before DW reportedly added another $100,000 each to their checks. So that’s $400,000 in total end-of-night bonuses, for an event that only collected $471,450 in gate receipts. Sometimes you just do it for the love, I guess.
As for that decision, which was troubling to many (myself not included), FightMetric did the math and decided that Kampmann should have won the fight 29-28 due to number of strikes landed and overall effectiveness. Of course, the criteria that computerized scoring systems use is often much different from the ones used by human judges, for better or worse.
As we’ve examined before, judges like to see that you’re trying hard, and seem to give out points for heart/balls if you’re still fighting like a rabid dog in the third round with half your face hanging off your skull. But setting aside Kampmann’s cleaner technique and greater volume of strikes, it looked to me like Sanchez was on the attack for the majority of rounds two and three, and much more importantly, Sanchez had Kampmann rocked or in trouble more often in those last two rounds. In my opinion, he came closer to finishing the fight. It’s almost refreshing that the judges were able to look beyond the amount of blood on the combatants’ faces when they filled out their scorecards.
But hey, maybe I’m talking out of my ass, and completely contradicting what I wrote before, and raw data like FightMetric stats should tell the whole story. Let’s hear what you think. In the meantime, check out these videos of the fight’s highlights and Sanchez’s post-fight interview, in which he asks Lorenzo Fertitta if he got the “energy bonus.” Yes, Diego, you sure did. Now you can fuel up your spaceship and fly off for a nice vacation until your wounds heal.