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Completed Bout

Diego Sanchez vs. Paulo Thiago

Main Card | Welterweight | 170 lbs

Mmaweekly large Diego "Lionheart" Sanchez
Mmaweekly large Paulo "Caveira" Thiago

Round 3

Diego Sanchez Paulo Thiago

"Lionheart" "Caveira"

21-4-0   Pro Record At Fight   13-2-0
Climbed to 22-4   Record After Fight   Fell to 13-3
+120 (Near Even)   Betting Odds   -140 (Slight Favorite)
Us United States   Nationality   Br Brazil
Albuquerque, New Mexico   Fighting out of   Brasilia, Federal District, Brazil
28 years, 9 months, 22 days   Age at Fight   29 years, 8 months, 28 days
170.5 lbs (77.3 kgs)   Weigh-In Result   170.5 lbs (77.3 kgs)
5'10" (178cm)   Height   5'11" (181cm)
72.0" (183cm)   Reach   74.5" (189cm)
Roberto Griego - Arriba Nuevo México   Walkout Music   Mano Brown e Jorge Ben Jor - Umbabarauma
Jackson Wink MMA   Gym   XGym
UFC 121
  • Bout Information
  • Date: Saturday 10.23.2010 at 11:00 PM ET
  • Referee: Jason Herzog
  • Venue: Honda Center
  • Enclosure: Octagon
  • Location: Anaheim, California, United States
  • Bout Billing: Main Card (fight 9 of 11)
  • Pro/Am: Professional
  • Weight: Welterweight | 170 lbs (77.1 kg)
  • TV Commentary: Mike Goldberg, Joe Rogan
  • Broadcast: Aired Live on Main Card
  • Post-Fight Interviewer: Joe Rogan
  • Sanchez Total Disclosed Pay: $170,000
  • Thiago Total Disclosed Pay: $88,000

Sanchez vs. Thiago Wiki Update Wiki

UFC 121's Fight of the Night belonged to the welterweight contender matchup between Diego Sanchez and Paulo Thiago, an exciting, back-and-forth affair that pitted Sanchez's trademark tenacity and spirit against Thiago's cleverness and skillful Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. For Sanchez, who eventually wore Thiago down with a high pace and relentless ground-and-pound en route to a Unanimous Decision victory, the result was a reinvigorating bounce-back performance and his first win in the 170 pound weight class in more than two years.

Professional oddsmakers and Tapology members both had Thiago a moderate favorite coming into the bout. Thiago had had the better showings of the two fighters in their most recent performances; Sanchez had looked confused and lackluster in back-to-back losses to BJ Penn and John Hathaway, while Thiago had brilliantly choked out Mike Swick and looked game if overmatched in his loss to Martin Kampmann, who was also on the UFC 121 card.

The difference proved to be Diego's return to what had worked for him in the past: a training camp with Greg Jackson in Albuquerque for the first time since his fight with Josh Koscheck in 2007; a comfortable weight cut to 170 pounds; and a relentless infighting style that eventually broke Paulo Thiago down midway through the second round, and carried through for all of the third.

Even though Sanchez gradually overcame Thiago over the course of fifteen minutes, the fight was electrifying and full of drama. Thiago repeatedly looked for clever D'Arce Chokes, Guillotines, Kimuras and sweeps that kept Sanchez guessing and blunted the Mexican-American fighter's withering attack. The fight's signature moment came halfway through the second round, when after a beautiful sweep from bottom by Thiago brought the fight back to its feet, Sanchez responded with a huge, running, double-underhook slam accompanied by a savage war cry aimed up toward the rafters of Anaheim's Honda Center. Sanchez's shouting slam was immediately and repeatedly replayed throughout the night.

By the end of the second Thiago was still there, but he was cracking. Greg Jackson hit the nail on the head between rounds, telling Sanchez: "Pressure, pressure pressure. What are you gonna do?" Sanchez responded, "pressure." Sure enough, Thiago had nothing left in the tank for round three, which all belonged to Sanchez. Sanchez took the Brazilian's back at the 3:30 mark and sunk in a body triangle that he rode the rest of the way while looking for an RNC and peppering him with strikes. Thiago made it to the final bell, but as Joe Rogan called it, "Diego's just beating him up, man. Paulo's just hanging on for dear life here." A fight that was up for grabs at many points through the first ten minutes turned into a dominating victory for Sanchez, who looked to have reinvigorated his UFC career late in 2010.

Last updated 09.26.2012, 11:25 PM ET
Wiki Contributors:

Sanchez vs. Thiago Fight Predictions

Tapology Community Predictions: 39  

Videos & Highlights

    Training  |  Paulo Thiago Training For UFC 121 Video by BadBoy report dead link

    BadBoy caught up with Paulo Thiago as he trained for his UFC 121 bout with Diego Sanchez.

Sanchez vs. Thiago Fighter Tweets

If fighters from this bout were talking on Twitter before or after the fight, this is where you can find it. Below are all the Tweets we've recorded near the date of the bout.

Off to Cali. READY for ufc 121. YESSSS!!!!!!!
4 days
off to cali. READY for ufc 121....!
4 days
8 days
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