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UFC: Sanchez vs. Kampmann Proves That MMA Judges Need to Learn How to Score Striking

(C) HeavyMMATonight at UFC: Sanchez vs. Kampmann we saw Diego Sanchez once again at Welterweight against Martin Kampmann. Kampmann, a Danish Muay Thai fighter-turned-MMA fighter who has rounded out his game considerably in MMA. Diego Sanchez saw mixed results at Lightweight, making his way to a fight with BJ Penn and being decimated, so badly that he refused to fight at Lightweight again. His return to Welterweight did him no favors, but he came into this fight with a win over Paulo Thiago and an uncertain future.

Kampmann came into the fight calm, collected and with a game plan. He was able to drop Diego Sanchez in the first round and in the second round was able to continually stuff Diego's takedown attempts and keep him at a distance with his jabs. Everything from his composure to stance were exactly what he needed to do in this fight.

Diego came into the fight looking soft, as UFC President Dana White so aptly pointed out on Twitter (how'd you like your boss with a million plus followers calling you fat?) and slow. He had next to no defense for Kampmann's striking and due to Kampmann's stance of keeping his front leg heavy, was nearly impossible to get a takedown, which he needed.

In the third round Kampmann broke his hand and was unable to piece together combinations, which meant Diego was able to swarm Kampmann with wild, looping hooks, connecting once in a while. The problem was, whenever he backed off, after maybe connecting a wild shot or two, Kampmann was able to score at will against Diego. This was the story of the night. Kampmann won all of the exchanges with crisp striking while Diego simply threw like Leonard Garcia.

Amazingly enough, the judges all scored the fight 29-28 for Diego Sanchez. The question is; why? Ariel Helwani on the post-fight show makes the point that many of us were making on Twitter, that judges see the aggression and think that means they are winning the fight. We've seen Leonard Garcia get a few "gifted" decisions, and now this fight falls right in line.

As an avid kickboxing fan, this fight was very cut and dry; a knockdown as well as clear connections against wild shots that were being deflected. As a MMA fan, it was even more cut and dry; a knockdown as well as clear connections and stuffing every takedown. It doesn't help that Dana White on Twitter after the fight says that Diego "clearly" won the fight. This was the second decision against Kampmann in a row that was disputed by fans and analysts. To me, that speaks volumes about the mythical bad MMA judging that we all often speak about.

The argument used to define poor MMA judging has usually been that judges do not understand grappling and come from a boxing background. At this point, I argue that they also do not understand striking. The criteria for the judging is fine, it is the lack of knowledge that holds the sport back and gives us piss poor decisions. The amount of times I hear Joe Rogan quote poor judging on UFC shows is just astounding.

I'll toss this out here; if you are a professional judge and want to learn more about striking, contact me, and I'll help you as well as point you in the direction of those that can help you. I'm being serious.

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Upsets at Battle in the Desert by Lion Fight Promotions

Lion FightsTonight was a night of upsets, in a way, as Andrei Arlovski and Fedor Emelianenko, two men who met a few years ago in Affliction to see who was the best Heavyweight outside of the UFC, both fell in dramatic fashion and we might see both of their careers come to a halt. The insanity really doesn't stop there, as Battle in the Desert, promoted by Lion Fights in Primm, Nevada went down tonight, where highly-regarded Muay Thai practitioner, Kevin Ross was going into his bout with Sittisak Por Sirichai as the favorite.

The bout was an even one that saw Sittisak come out on top in a Split decision that it sounds like could have gone either way.

The other big upset was Malaipet met Michael Mananquil in a rematch where he was seen as the early and big favorite for the WMC Welterweight Championship. Mananquil pushed the paced early on in the fight, but in the second round was met with a hook to the jaw that sent him crashing to the mat for an 8-count. Mananquil came back gracefully from the knockdown and proceeded to win the next three rounds, giving him the first, third, fourth and fifth rounds to Malaipet's one round, the second.

Mananquil walked away from the bout as the new WMC International Welterweight Champion and Malaipet walks away a little bit more humble in defeat.

The night also saw Coke Chunhawat stop Scotty Leffler after Leffler couldn't answer the bell after the second round, Remy Bonnel score a TKO in the third over Singsiri Por Sirichai and more. For the full results head to Muay Thai Authority who were live for the event.

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The Last Emperor Fedor Emelianenko Falls to Antonio Silva in Strikeforce Heavyweight GP; Hints at Retirement

Fedor/Silva (C) USATFedor is a name that is spoken amongst MMA fans as if he were royalty, his dominance in the sport has not been emulated, even slightly. So to say that him fighting in the US again is a big deal is an understatement, to say that him in the Strikeforce Heavyweight GP, well, it is even bigger. Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva has sharpened his skill in Japan and EliteXC and two wins in Strikeforce.

In a way, the popularity of this tournament depends on Fedor Emelianenko moving forward in the tournament, but Antonio Silva is a tough opponent for any heavyweight in 2011.

The first round saw your standard Fedor action, where Fedor worked his quick hands and Silva's gameplan was to hold Fedor against the cage, using his size and strength to his advantage. The second round saw what many thought was the impossible happen, as Silva completely dominated Fedor on the ground. Ground and pound and a few near-choke attempts against Fedor. Fedor was able to persevere through most of the brutalizing and show us exactly what Fedor has done dozens of times before; tire out a bigger opponent before he makes his comeback.

Then one of th drawbacks to fighting in the United States hit us in between rounds; Fedor's right eye was swollen shut and the ringside doctors and ref, Dan Murgliotta decided that the eye was too bad for Fedor to continue, and called off the bout right after the third round. Bigfoot Silva has become the third man to hold a win over Fedor, and the second man to hold a win that fans will dispute for years.

Antonio Silva goes on to meet the winner of Alistair Overeem vs. Fabricio Werdum, and the future for Fedor Emelianenko and Andrei Arlovski are unknown after tonight. Fedor discusses retirement post-fight, and fans' hearts everywhere are breaking, while Dana White is smiling and saying, "that guy was never that good."

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Andrei Arlovski gets KO'd by Sergei Kharitonov in Strikeforce Heavyweight GP

SKAndrei Arlovski is a former UFC Heavyweight Champion, sure it was from an era that is not well known for UFC's Heavyweight division, but to question if Arlovski was "legit" or not is a bit, well, ridiculous. He reigned supreme over UFC's division while Fedor reigned over Japan. Sergei Kharitonov has some legitimate wins from PRIDE and has competed in K-1 over the past few years, so a battle between Kharitonov vs. Arlovski is a fight that we've been waiting to see for a while, and it's happening in Strikeforce.

Arlovski comes in staring down the barrel of a long, three-fight losing streak (Fedor, Rogers, Silva), while Kharitonov hasn't faced top competition at Heavyweight in the past few years and won. Both men have a lot to prove on the world level here tonight, and this could make or break a career. Arlovski starts off strong and uses his movement and hands, but Kharitonov was patient and waited for his moment and struck, hard, swarming on Arlovski and not stopping until Arlovski was on the ground, knocked out cold.

This is Arlovski's fourth KO loss in a row, and one has to believe that he'll be dejected by this and there will be a lot of questions about his career.

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