by Matt Lo Cascio
Midwest Training Center fighter David Sachs traveled north of the border to fight Dimitri Waardenburg at TKO 38 in Canada, and he almost ended the fight in the first round with a tight head and arm choke. The choke was locked in and it seemed like Waardenburg would have to tap. How did he survive?
“I’m not sure. I could hear him gagging pretty good,” Sachs told Chicago’s MMA after the fight. “Dimitri showed a ton of heart.”
Sachs looked to get his left eye busted open with about two minutes left in round one but then landed a huge takedown and coach Barry Hoppen and his corner yelled for punishment. With less than a minute left in the round, analyst Robin Black thought Waardenburg was again in trouble, as Sachs had back control and a rear naked choke cinched tight. Waardenburg somehow fought off that choke and got Sachs to release it, but he caught the hold again almost immediately. Waardenburg escaped yet again and the fight went to round two, but it was clearly a round that should have been scored for Sachs.
Round two was uneventful for Sachs on offense as he was unable to land many strikes or takedowns. Waardenburg broke out some slick striking, using a mixture of push kicks, combinations, and even some 12-6 elbows from bottom when Sachs was in his guard.
Sachs came out in round three again looking to get the fight to the ground. He was unable to complete his first takedown attempt of the round but connected with a sweet left hand on the exit. Waardenburg remained elusive and again defended takedowns well in round three. Sachs was complimentary of Waardenburg’s performance. “He did an amazing job. I couldn’t get a hold of him, and he landed the better counters.”
The judges came back with a unanimous decision for Waardenburg, although the one judge that scored it 30-27 must not have been watching round one. Both fighters exuded class and humility after the decision was announced, a true display of the sportsmanship of a martial artist.
Sachs made a new fan in Robin Black, who was digging his style. He enjoyed what he called his “old school Josh Barnett vibe.” Black was also astounded by his toughness. “David Sachs is a tough dude, man. He is a rock,” Black said during the broadcast on UFC Fight Pass.