• UFC on FX 2

Kampmann stuns Alves after flyweight controversy

ESPN staff
March 3, 2012
Martin Kampmann and Thiago Alves put on an excellent main event at UFC on FX 2 © Getty Images

Martin Kampmann vowed never to leave it in the hands of the judges after his last loss to Diego Sanchez, and that attitude helped him snatch victory from the jaws of defeat against Thiago Alves, on a controversial night at UFC on FX 2 in Sydney.

Kampmann was outclassed on his feet for the best part of three rounds in the night's main event, but just when it looked like Alves woulkd ride to a unanimous decision win, he opted for a suicidal takedown attempt. Sensing his last chance, Kampmann grabbed the neck - locked on a standing guillotine and then completed a remarkable turnaround as both men fell to the mat.

It was an unpredictable end to an unpredictable night in Sydney, which saw the flyweight tournament begin in hugely controversial circumstances. Demetrious Johnson was handed a split decision over Ian McCall in the opening 125lb clash of the night, but it was later revealed that there was an error with the scorecards, resulting in the bout being changed to a majority draw - meaning both men will have to do it all again.

The main event was a classic striking battle between Kampmann and Alves, two top class kickboxing technicians who both inflicted damage at different times in the fight. Kampmann rocked his man early with an Anderson Silva-like straight kick to the head, but for the most part he could not find his timing while most of his clinch and takedown attempts failed to work.

Alves, by contrast, was slick with his hands, regularly hurting Kampmann with left hooks and big rights, bloodying his rival's face as he moved towards what looked like a comfortable victory. Even the Brazilian's groundwork looked good, achieving mount in the first round whilst giving Kampmann little to work with offensively.

However, Alves looked to put a rubber stamp on his victory with a late takedown attempt in the third, and Kampmann did not waste the opportunity. The standing guillotine was applied, Alves looked for an escape route but there was none, and with 48 seconds left he had to concede defeat.

The headlines, though, will be grabbed by Johnson's flyweight battle with McCall, which was victim of a total mess-up by the Commission after the initial result had drawn jeers of "bulls***" from the crowd.

Ian McCall played to the crowd as he attempted to finish Demetrious Johnson in round three © Getty Images

The fight itself was of extremely high quality, Johnson the lighter and faster on his feet, rocking his foe on more than one occasion, while McCall landed the heavier and did some great work on the ground. Johnson appeared to take rounds one and two 10-9 due to his superior technical striking, but he was mounted and battered in the third as McCall arguably registered a 10-8.

When the scores were rendered, they were announced 29-28 twice in favour of Johnson, and once for McCall. However, what seemed like a split decision for Johnson was called a majority decision by Bruce Buffer.

That was because Johnson was actually victorious 29-28 29-28 29-29. However, more complications were to follow, with judge Sal D'Amato having actually given McCall a 10-8 final round, meaning he too had scored it a draw. As a result, the final scores read 29-28 29-29 28-28 - a majority draw.

"Controversy has stuck to us like glue, lately," Dana White commented in the post-fight press conference. "The [Johnson-McCall] fight was not scored properly. The fight was a draw. In the case of a draw, the fight was supposed to go to a fourth round. The commission has taken full responsibility."

The mix-up denied the pair a sudden death round, so they will now rematch - most likely in April.

The winner will meet Joseph Benavidez, who lived up to his "favourite" label with a Knockout of the Night victory over Yasuhiro Urushitani. Benavidez took the back of Urushitani but could not complete a rear naked choke in round one, but he needed just 11 seconds to finish his man in the second, dropping Urushitani with a perfectly-timed counter left.

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