The fight game is fickle. Martin Kampmann was on the fast track to a title shot last year, then Mike Swick got injured before the two could meet in an eliminator fight at UFC 103. The Dutchmen then fell victim to the knockout power of Paul Daley and his path to the top was derailed. Kampmann proved he's back by showing his class in dominating Paulo Thiago in every aspect of MMA rolling to a unanimous decision win, 30-27 on all three cards.
Thiago, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, has fallen in love with his power punching. It was a mistake tonight as Kampmann did a great job of controlling the range with his jab. As Thiago looked to land an occasional wild haymaker, Kampmann kept his hands up and peppered the Brazilian with jabs. He puffed up Thiago's right eye going into the second and then took the fight to the ground the rest of the way. Kampmann was dominant switching from position to position. He worked for multiple chokes and broke Thiago mentally by the middle of the third round.
Bettors definitely lost faith in Kampmann (17-3, 8-2 UFC), who entered the fight as a near 2-to-1 underdog. Thiago (13-2, 3-2 UFC) had been gaining quite a reputation in recent fights with wins over Mike Swick, Jacob Volkmann and Josh Koscheck. His riddle was solved easily by Kampmann.