Louisville, Kentucky gets their first taste of the UFC come Thursday night at the KFC Yum! Center. In the main event, “The Nightmare” Diego Sanchez (22-4) returns to the cage with the always dangerous “The Hitman” Martin Kampmann (17-4) waiting for him. American Top Team striker “Legionarius” Alessio Sakara (15-7) hopes to tack a fourth victory onto his winning streak when he welcomes ground artist Chris Weidman (4-0) into the UFC. Former WEC Bantamweight Champion Brian Bowles (8-1) and “The Angel of Death” Damacio Page (10-6) are set to clash in their UFC debut which also is a rematch of their WEC 35 fight in August 2008, as both men hope to make the right strides within their division. Former top UFC lightweight contender “Daddy” Joe Stevenson (31-11) welcomes WEC transplant “Last Call” Danny Castillo (9-3) to the UFC in the bout that kicks off the Versus card. In the co-main event however, two wrestlers in the middleweight division hope to step up in the ranks when “The Doberman” CB Dollaway (11-2) collides with “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Mark Munoz (7-2).
Lost amid all the backwash of UFC 127 and the numerous discussions of the drama involved therein, one can find a card stacked with new talent and old favorites as the UFC gives fans their third free card to be broadcast on the Versus network tomorrow night. UFC on Versus 3: Sanchez vs. Kampmann features a great sampling from the lightweights with a fight between “Daddy” Joe Stevenson (31-11) and “Last Call” Danny Castillo (9-3) and pulls two excellent match-ups from the organization’s middleweight roster with “Legionarius” Alessio Sakara (15-7) vs. Chris Weidman (4-0) and “The Doberman” CB Dollaway (11-2) vs. “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Mark Munoz (7-2). Slated for main event duty are long time welterweight stand-outs “The Nightmare” Diego Sanchez (22-4) and “The Hitman” Martin Kampmann (17-4) in a bout that may lock a future contendership contest for the winner. The UFC has not forgotten the deep roster of top flight smaller fighters it brought into the fold from the WEC either with UFC on Versus 3, either. A bout of particular interest to fans of the now-defunct UFC sister organization will take place in the newly formed UFC bantamweight division as “The Angel of Death” Damacio Page (10-6) steps up to redeem himself in a rematch against the once beaten former king of the division, Brian Bowles (8-1) who has not been seen since losing the WEC belt in March of 2010. Both men are coming off losses and have a lot to prove to their new bosses and the tried and true WEC fans can’t wait to see them do it.
Hype does sell fights, but sometimes at an unwanted cost. What began as commonplace pre-fight smack talk between “The Count” Michael Bisping (21-3) and “El Conquistador” Jorge Rivera (18-8) in the weeks preceding their UFC 127 bout turned into below-the-belt mud slinging laced with venom and vitriol by the time their co-main event’s weigh-ins rolled around last Friday, as the two men looked ready to throw down right there and literally had to be separated by UFC President Dana White. Then the next day at UFC 127: Fitch vs. Penn, as each of the middleweight contenders took his place inside the cage of the Acer Arena in Sydney, Australia, the men seemed intent only on walking out of the cage with his opponent’s head on a stick.