UFC 181 Results: Urijah Faber Eye Poke Sets Up Submission Finish Over Francisco Rivera

December 6, 2014
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Urijah Faber entered the Octagon at UFC 181 in Las Vegas on Saturday night looking to remain at the top of the bantamweight division, while his opponent, Francisco Rivera was looking to bounce back from a loss to win the biggest fight of his career.

Faber took control of the fight early, taking the center of the Octagon and putting Rivera on the back foot, clipping him with a left hook. Rivera seemed to gather himself and find his rhythm a little more in the latter half of the opening round, when he started to find a home for his leg kicks and closed the round with a couple solid right hands.

SEE ALSO: UFC 181: Hendricks vs. Lawler II Live Results

Urijah-Faber-UFC-181-w-750The second round opened with Faber again pressing forward. Rivera seemed to still be in his rhythm until Faber stuck out his left hand, accidentally poking Rivera in the eye. Referee Mario Yamasaki, however, didn’t see the eye poke, which was made clearer on the replay after the fight.

Rivera staggered backwards and dropped to a knee, where Faber clasped a bulldog choke and forced the tap at 1:34 of round two. Despite the eye poke being clearly visible on the replay, Faber was awarded the victory by submission.

“I just saw (the eye poke) on the replay. I didn’t know it the minute I got him in the eye,” said Faber after the fight. “That’s unfortunate. You don’t wish that on anyone. It’s unfortunate for him, but I go out there to finish fights.”

The victory improves Faber’s record to 32-7, while Rivera drops to 10-4 with 1 no contest. Rivera was not immediately available to discuss whether or not there would be an appeal of the decision.

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  • Christina

    That ‘accidental’ poke stayed in Rivera’s eye a long time. Faber said he didn’t know he had poked Rivera. Yeah, right.

    • GrasshopperMMA

      I agree. I know Faber isn’t a dirty fighter but he had to know he poked him in the eye(and a bad eye poke at that).

    • Jason Priest

      Are you insinuating that Urijah Faber, a class act in the sport and a guy who has never once cheated actually set up his finish by purposely poking Francisco in the eye haha???!?!? Wow. Stick to watching “The Real Housewives” sweetheart and let the fellas analyze the fights.

      • Christina

        I am saying Faber knew he did it, intentional or not. That’s what I see in the replay. It actually looks as if he dug his finger in. He should have stopped. He has been shown the same courtesy in the past. I think he knew there was a very good chance he lost the 1st round and didn’t want to take any chances. Rivera was giving him a bad time that he didn’t expect. While not cheating, not exactly fair either.

        • Jason Priest

          And how do you know this haha? What did you see in the replay that makes you somehow “know” he realizes he did it? I’m sorry but you sound incredibly ignorant. Eye pokes happen in every event, 99% of them accidental. Didn’t want to take chances lolz? You never stop fighting until the ref stops you.

          • Christina

            Not here to argue with you. I don’t know this any more that you know otherwise. You’re a big Faber fan. I get it. You’re probably a Kardashian fan too. Blind loyalty. I get it.

            I’m just talking about what I see happening from several angles in multiple replays. I didn’t care who won. Yeah, pokes happen all the time and the offender stops all the time too! Repeating – Faber had been on the receiving end of the courtesy himself. And fighters stop before the ref stops them all the time too. Case in point: Sammon after the Gordon head kick. It’s part of fairness and being honorable. I just expected better from Faber. It’s apparently lost on you, too. Maybe the class act knew he was behind and decided to do anything necessary to keep from losing to someone who wasn’t supposed to have a chance against him. After all he had been relegated the preliminaries card. You heard the people in the audience booing didn’t you? Lots of them. That was a pro-Faber audience before the win. Not so much after wards.

            So I’m thru discussing this with you. Go ahead and get in the last word. Feel free to name call. I know that will make you feel better about yourself with your shallow “victory”. That’ll make you 1 and a zero. Buh-bye.

          • Jason Priest

            I’ll answer you, only to rebuttal the utter ridiculous in this post lolz. In your second comment you state “I am saying Faber knew he did it, intentional or not.” Then in your third comment you say “I don’t know this any more that you know otherwise.” See the inconsistency and irony there? And comparing a legal head kick to an accidental eye poke is like comparing apples to beach chairs sweetheart. Then you go on to imply that Faber purposely poked Francisco to set up his finish cause he’s afraid to lose haha. Way to contradict yourself and seem highly ignorant at the same time. Also they purposely stick him (Faber) as the main event of the prelims on free TV to boost ratings since he is a popular fighter (They’ve done this with Donald Cerrone also). If you put your thinking cap on real tight, you might be able to grasp this. People were not booing him, they were booing the circumstance. Read my comment above at the top of the thread where I state I thought it was an unfortunate turn of events, and am clamoring for a rematch. No need to call you names, your post proves to us that your not very smart. It’s OK tho lolz. Your attempted stab at being witty was not only corny but pretty lame too. Like I said before stick to bad reality TV and leave the sports up to the fellas sugar pop. “BUH-BYE” lmao

          • Fightfankevin

            While I agree with you that I don’t believe the eye poke was intentional, I agree with Christina that there’s no way he didn’t know the poke happened immediately. Either way though, for Faber to be such a “Class Act”, and see the replay and witness the severity of the poke , and reply with “sucks for him but I’m here to finish fights”, is a dang douchy thing to say and I lost respect for him to respond like that.

    • Gene Whitlock

      I’m 100% with you on that. There was no hand in his way to cause him to put an open hand out there like that. On top of that he dug it in with multiple fingers. He lost the first round and Rivera was going to hurt em.

  • steeltown65

    you can still defend against a choke when you can’t see. it sucks that it happened. and i actually had him ahead in the fight. but guys finish fights with broken arms, hands ribs. he panicked and didn’t protect himself. plus what the hell was mazigaki watching. that was a pretty obvious eye poke. at the same time though. rogan and goldberg thought it was a punch. crappy luck. just rematch them and see what happens.

  • guest1

    The California Queer can’t win a UFC title so now he’s resorting to cheating.

    • Jason Priest

      I can’t tell if you’re dumb, trolling, or serious?

  • Jason Priest

    Unfortunate turn of events. Rivera looked great up until the poke. It was accidental for sure, and Urijah just sensed the finish and went for it instinctively. Let’em fight again. I wanna see a rematch.

    • shakejunt

      i want cisco to get this one back, but i don’t like the idea of giving faber a 2nd chance at him. i feel like he’s better off chalking it up as a bs loss and getting booked as if he won as opposed to taking the rematch and potentially having faber come in with a better gameplan.