UFC Fight Night 81: "Dillashaw vs Cruz" Live Play-By-Play & ResultsThe Ultimate Fighting Championship came to the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts tonight for UFC Fight Night 81: “Dillashaw vs Cruz.” The event was headlined by a UFC Bantamweight Championship bout between T.J. Dillashaw and former titleholder Dominick “The Dominator” Cruz.

Also on the card, Anthony “Showtime” Pettis battled Eddie Alvarez in the lightweight co-feature. Travis “Hapa” Browne took on Matt Mitrione, and Ross “The Real Deal” Pearson met Francisco “Massaranduba” Trinaldo. MMARising.com has live play-by-play for tonight’s UFC main card.


UFC Bantamweight Championship

Dominick “The Dominator” Cruz vs T.J. Dillashaw

Round 1:
Cruz caught an early body kick and took Dillashaw down for a split second. The fighters stood and traded kicks and right hands. A three-punch flurry landed for Cruz and Dillashaw fell after throwing a head kick. He returned to his feet and Cruz cracked him with two looping hooks. Dillashaw threw body kicks and ate a four-punch combo in return. A nice right hand landed for Dillashaw and he followed with a body kick. Cruz dragged him down and flurried with punches on the way up. He stuffed a Dillashaw takedown attempt late in the round. 10-9 Cruz.

Round 2:
Quick punches were exchanged in the second round and Cruz used stiff jabs to keep Dillashaw at bay. Cruz easily shrugged off a takedown attempt and he blocked a head kick. A kick-punch combo landed for Cruz and Dillashaw responded with a head kick. The fighters traded power punches and Cruz landed another one-two. He took Dillashaw down twice and tried to set up a rear-naked choke as Dillashaw stood up. 10-9 Cruz.

Round 3:
Cruz countered kicks from Dillashaw with a quick combination in round three. Dillashaw remained aggressive with kicks and Cruz countered with jabs. Dillashaw connected with a lead left hook and Cruz responded with a right hand behind the ear. Power punches were exchanged and Cruz backed Dillashaw up with a flurry. He took Dillashaw down and tried for an anaconda choke. Dillashaw scrambled up and landed a kick to the upper body. Cruz replied with left and right hooks and he avoided Dillashaw’s wild punches. Cruz knocked Dillashaw off-balance with a right hook at the bell. 10-9 Cruz.

Round 4:
Dillashaw looked to set up a one-punch knockout in the fourth round, but Cruz kept his distance and countered with one-twos. Dillashaw hurt him with a leg kick, but Cruz took him down. The fight returned to the feet and Cruz landed a hard three-punch flurry. He jabbed and picked his shots with right hands. Dillashaw pressed forward and landed a combination that allowed him to take Cruz down. Cruz stood with Dillashaw on his back and Dillashaw threw knees. Cruz circled out and Dillashaw fell while throwing a kick. He stood and stuffed a takedown. 10-9 Dillashaw.

Round 5:
Dillashaw scored with punches and a head kick early in round five and he walked Cruz down with punches. Cruz fired back with a flurry and Dillashaw targeted the body. Cruz lunged forward with punches and Dillashaw kicked at his lead leg. Cruz rushed in again and fired off another flurry that was met by a one-two and a body kick from Dillashaw. Cruz unloaded with six punches that briefly backed Dillashaw up. Dillashaw avoided a takedown attempt and the fight ended with both men landing big shots. 10-9 Dillashaw, barely. Fight could go either way.

Winner: Dominick Cruz by Split Decision (49-46, 48-47, 46-49) after five rounds. He improves to 21-1-0 and becomes the new UFC Bantamweight Champion.


Eddie Alvarez vs Anthony “Showtime” Pettis

Round 1:
Alvarez shot in and took Pettis down early in the first round, but Pettis used the cage to get back to his feet. Alvarez eventually tripped him again, but he could not hold Pettis down for long. Pettis broke free and threw a head kick, but he missed with a spinning wheel kick and Alvarez scored another takedown. Pettis got back to his feet and he landed a body kick, but Alvarez countered with a combination. 10-9 Alvarez.

Round 2:
Alvarez snuck in lead right hooks in round two and he backed Pettis up against the cage once again. Pettis broke free and landed a nice body kick. The fighters traded right hands and Pettis chopped away at Alvarez’s left leg with kicks. Both men landed quick flurries and Alvarez followed with a leg kick and a knee. Hard kicks were exchanged to the legs and body. Alvarez tried for a takedown before the bell. Close round. 10-9 Alvarez by a slim margin.

Round 3:
Pettis fought off Alvarez’s early takedown attempts in the final round and scored with punches that bloodied the face of Alvarez, who managed to get Pettis down against the cage. Pettis countered with a heel hook attempt and Alvarez landed punches from the top. Pettis stood and Alvarez took him right back down. The process repeated itself and Alvarez kept Pettis pinned against the base of the cage. The fight returned to the feet and Pettis landed a combination. 10-9 Alvarez.

Winner: Eddie Alvarez by Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29) after three rounds. He improves to 27-4-0.


Travis “Hapa” Browne vs Matt Mitrione

Round 1:
Mitrione kicked at Browne’s lead leg early on and the fighters traded punches. Browne threw body kicks and followed with a head kick attempt. He landed a knee in close, but Mitrione countered with a flurry over the top. Both men landed hard right hooks and Mitrione dropped Browne with a counterpunch on the way in. Browne returned to his feet and he landed a right hand, but Mitrione was poked in the eye. Time was called with mere seconds remaining in the round. Mitrione was able to continue and the bell sounded shortly after the restart. 10-9 Mitrione.

Round 2:
Mitrione landed a a series of left hands that stunned Browne in the second round and Mitrione was once again poked in the eye. Time was not called right away, but the referee did intervene after Mitrione indicated that he was seeing double. Action eventually resumed and Browne landed a knee to the body. Mitrione lunged in with a one-two and he followed with a straight left hand. Browne countered with a knee and he took Mitrione down into side control. Mitrione scrambled up and Browne landed more knees. 10-9 Browne.

Round 3:
The final round began with an exchange of kicks and Mitrione landed a left cross. Browne stopped him in his tracks with a straight right counter and Mitrione’s damaged right eye began to swell up again. Browne took Mitrione’s back and slammed him down to the mat. He mounted Mitrione and dropped elbows and punches. Browne continued to land punches until the fight was stopped.

Winner: Travis Browne by TKO (Punches) at 4:09 of round three. He improves to 18-3-1.


Francisco “Massaranduba” Trinaldo vs Ross “The Real Deal” Pearson

Round 1:
The fighters traded single kicks and punches in the opening two minutes and Pearson countered a spinning back kick with a right cross. He kicked to the body and followed with another right hand. Trinaldo landed a kick to the chest and followed with another one soon after. Pearson replied with a right hook and Trinaldo fired off a head kick. He rocked Pearson with a second head kick and slammed him to the mat before the bell. 10-9 Trinaldo due to the late rally.

Round 2:
More kicks were exchanged in the second round and Pearson took Trinaldo down against the cage. He landed some solid punches from the top until Trinaldo battled back to his feet. Trinaldo flurried with punches and followed with two knees. Pearson broke free from the fence and landed a right hand, which was met by head kicks and a knee from Trinaldo. He cracked Pearson with a left cross and a knee in the final 30 seconds. 10-9 Trinaldo.

Round 3:
Trinaldo hurt Pearson with a right hook early in the final round and he swarmed on him with punches. Pearson recovered and fought off a takedown attempt. The fighters separated and traded punches. Pearson began to bleed from a cut above his left eye, but he landed a head kick and a straight right. Pearson caught a head kick and took Trinaldo down, but Trinaldo countered with a heel hook attempt. Pearson landed punches on the way up and he remained the aggressor. Trinaldo clinched and landed a knee, then clipped Pearson with a right hook. 10-9 Trinaldo, barely.

Winner: Francisco Trinaldo by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) after three rounds. He improves to 19-4-0.


Undercard Fights:

– Patrick “The Predator” Côté defeated Ben “Killa B” Saunders by TKO (Punches) at 1:14 of round two. He improves to 23-9-0 with the win.

– Ed “Short Fuse” Herman defeated Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch by KO (Knee & Punches) at 1:39 of round two. He improves to 23-11-0, 1 NC with the win.

– Chris Wade defeated Mehdi “The Sultan” Baghdad by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 4:30 of round one. He improves to 11-1-0 with the win.

– Luke “Cool Hand” Sanders defeated Maximo “Maxi” Blanco by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 3:38 of round one. He improves to 11-0-0 with the win.

– Paul “The Irish Dragon” Felder defeated Daron “The Detroit Superstar” Cruickshank by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 3:56 of round three. He improves to 11-2-0 with the win.

– Ilir “The Sledgehammer” Latifi defeated Sean “The Real OC” O’Connell by TKO (Punch) at 0:30 of round one. He improves to 11-4-0, 1 NC with the win.

– Charles “Boston Strong” Rosa defeated Kyle “Crash” Bochniak by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) after three rounds. He improves to 11-2-0 with the win.

– Rob Font defeated Joey “The KO King” Gomez by TKO (Punches) at 4:13 of round two. He improves to 12-1-0 with the win.

– Francimar “Bodão” Barroso defeated Elvis “The King” Mutapčić by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) after three rounds. He improves to 18-4-0 with the win.