LAS VEGAS – MMAWeekly.com is live at the Mandalay Bay Event Center bringing you all the action, as it happens, from Saturday’s UFC 81 event, which features a headline bout between Tim Sylvia and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira for the interim UFC heavyweight title.
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UFC 81 PLAY-BY-PLAY
Keita Nakamura vs. Rob Emerson
R1 – The fighters trade blows early with Emerson taking a slight advantage in the opening minute over the taller Nakamura. Emerson lands a big right hand about a minute-and-a-half into the fight. Nakamura starts to land a couple of shots, but Emerson is using his jab effectively, setting up cut kicks and the overhand right. Emerson lands another solid combination before Nakamura scores with a couple of well-placed knees. Emerson is landing some good combinations, but Nakamura drops him with a knee to the chin. The two scramble on the ground and work back to their feet and end the round as Nakamura takes Emerson down from the clinch.
MMAWeekly scores a close round 10-9 for Emerson.
R2 – Nakamura starts off round two with a little better timing with his strikes, but is eating several cut kicks from Emerson and a hard overhand right that is starting to take its toll. Emerson scores with a left kick to the leg followed by a left hook to the head. Nakamura tries to knee, but Emerson just shoves him to the mat. Nakamura is having a very difficult time finding his range in the fight and eating several shots from Emerson every time he tries to move in. With a minute left, Nakamura finally scores a double-leg takedown, but Emerson scrambles right back to his feet. The round ends with Emerson scoring with his punch combinations.
MMAWeekly scores the round 10-9 for Emerson.
R3 – Both fighters are wearing the effects of trading blows for the two opening rounds. Nakamura clinches and takes Emerson down briefly, but they pop right back up to their feet and continue trading blows, thus far in round three a little more evenly than the first two rounds. Emerson starts to find his groove about midway through the round, landing several punch and kick combinations, but Nakamura fires back, landing some harsh knee strikes and punches. Some really heavy exchanges as the round wears on with Emerson scoring the harder shots, but Nakamura finds a second wind and starts to land more effectively, then shoots and takes Emerson down. The two exchange blows on the ground as the round closes.
MMAWeekly scores the round 10-9 for Nakamura and the fight 29-28 for Emerson.
Robert Emerson def. Keita Nakamura by Split Decision, R3
(30-27 Emerson, 29-28 Nakamura, 30-27 Emerson)
Terry Martin vs. Marvin Eastman
R1 – No touch of the gloves, they clinch early, hit the mat, but bounce right back up clinched along the fence. They begin exchanging knees. Martin lands a couple of left hooks to the body and head, still in the clinch. The referee Yves Lavigne separates them. Martin is pushing the action as Eastman looks to counter and they end up clinched again. About a minute-and-a-half left and they are separated again. They start an exchange, but end up clinched once again. Eastman scores with some good inside punching and elbows as the round closes, possibly stealing a very close round.
MMAWeekly scores the round 10-9 for Eastman.
R2 – Both fighters swing big to open the round, but don’t land much of anything and wind up in the clinch again. Eastman gets hit, stops to look at his hand and gets nailed again by Martin; then they clinch again. The referee separates them back to center ring and Eastman unleashes an aggressive combination of punches before they clinch. They restart again with a punch exchange followed by an Eastman knee to the head, then a Martin left hook. They clinch again, wrestle for position before Eastman executes a judo throw. Back on their feet, they clinch once more and end the round along the fence. Another close round.
MMAWeekly scores the round 10-9 for Eastman.
R3 – Eastman starts the scoring early with punch combinations, partially lands a head kick, then takes Martin down and starts working ground and pound from side control. Martin nearly gives up his back, but manages to stand up. They start exchanging right away with Eastman headhunting with his powerful kicks. Then it’s back to the Thai clinch. Eastman starts landing some dirty boxing upper cuts, then unleashes some brutal knees followed by a damaging punch combination. Martin looks to be tiring, but they clinch and Martin scores the takedown, trying to get to Eastman’s back. Working back to their feet, they clinch again along the fence. They exchange punches for the remainder, with Eastman seeming to do more damage to the tiring Martin. MMAWeekly scores it unanimous for Eastman in a fight that was much closer than the score indicates.
MMAWeekly scores the round 10-9 for Eastman and the fight 30-27 for Eastman.
Marvin Eastman def. Terry Martin by Unanimous Decision, R3
(30-27, 29-28, 30-27 for Eastman)
David Heath vs. Tim Boetsch
R1 – Not much action for the first minute until Boetsch landed a couple of kicks and an overhand right. More of a lull until Boetsch lands another push-kick to Heath’s gut and follows with an overhand right. Boetsch lands a two-kick combination. Heath seems to be waiting for Boetsch to make a mistake to counter, but is surely getting behind on the scorecards. Heath lands a leg kick, but Boetsch counters and starts landing with a succession of punches and knees that look to hurt Heath. Heath tries to push in to strike, but Boetsch gets him in the Thai clinch and lands a succession of knees, tosses Heath to the mat and follows him down ending the fight with a barrage of punches to the head and face.
Tim Boetsch def. David Heath by TKO (Strikes) at 4:52, R1
Chris Lytle vs. Kyle Bradley
R1 – Lytle starts the fight off quickly landing several right leg kicks and right hooks, realizes he has Bradley hurt and pounces on him, finishing the fight in a flurry of right hands in mere seconds.
Chris Lytle def. Kyle Bradley by TKO (Strikes) at 0:33, R1
MAIN CARD BOUTS:
Tyson Griffin vs. Gleison Tibau
R1 – The fighters exchange strikes on their feet, with Griffin landing some big punches and a few leg kicks throughout the round. Tibau manages a takedown and the fighters clinch towards to the end of the round.
MMAWeekly scores Rd 1 10-9 for Tyson Griffin
R2 – The majority of the round spent on the feet, as Griffin lands the more effective shots in this round as well. Tibau manages a couple of takedowns, but Griffin gets up immediately from each one. Griffin throws several more punches than his opponent, landing solid combinations.
MMAWeekly scores Rd 2 10-9 for Tyson Griffin
R3 – Tibau gets Griffin down early but again struggles to keep Griffin underneath him. Griffin works more solid stand-up, landing some very explosive body shots during the middle part of the round. Tibau clinches with Griffin to close out the fight, without much action as the final bell sounds.
Tyson Griffin def. Gleison Tibau by unanimous decision, R3 (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Ricardo Almeida vs. Rob Yundt
R1 – Almeida gets a quick takedown to start the round. After landing a punch, Yundt tries to reverse but Almeida transitions beautifully to a guillotine choke. Yundt tries to battle out but succumbs to the choke and has to tap out.
Ricardo Almeida def. Rob Yundt by submission (rear naked choke), at 1:08 R1
Nathan Marquardt vs. Jeremy Horn
R1 – Marquardt looks very solid on his feet, landing good strikes the entire round. Late in the round, Marquardt puts Horn down with a big elbow strike but Horn recovers and while holding Marquardt in his card he transitions to a gogoplata and then to an omaplata, but Marquardt escapes.
MMAWeekly scores Rd 1 10-9 for Nate Marquardt
R2 – Horn opens the round with a takedown, working ground and pound on Marquardt, opening a small cut over his eye. The fighters get back to their feet, Horn goes for another takedown but gets caught in a standing guillotine choke. Horn tries to fight out, but has to tap to the choke.
Nate Marquardt def. Jeremy Horn by Submission (guillotine choke) at 1:37, R2
Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir
R1 – Lesnar shoots in immediately and gets Mir to the ground where he unloads a barrage of punches, but hits Mir in the back of the head and referee Steve Mazzagatti calls timeout and deducts a point from Lesnar. With the fight restarted, Lesnar lands a punch that puts Mir down and he starts to again throw multiple shots and Mir pulls guard and attempts an armbar but Lesnar escapes. As Lesnar tries to pull out of the guard, Mir transitions and pulls a leg out from the former WWE fighter, and transitions to a knee bar forcing the tap from Lesnar.
Frank Mir def. Brock Lesnar by Submission (knee bar) 1:30, R1
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Tim Sylvia
R1 – Sylvia comes out aggressive and lands multiple shots on Nogueira. The former UFC champ hits Nog with a big right that puts the Brazilian on the mat and Sylvia follows up to try and finish, but Nogueira perseveres.
MMAWeekly scores Rd 1 10-9 for Tim Sylvia
R2 – Sylvia begins to jab Nogueira again, but the round slows down as Nog struggles to get inside on Sylvia. As Nog tries to get a takedown, Sylvia defends effectively and again controls the pace with his reach and jab.
MMAWeekly scores Rd 2 10-9 for Tim Sylvia
R3 – Sylvia opens with stand-up again, but this time Nogueira is able to pull guard and get the fight to the ground. Nog sweeps Sylvia and works from half guard, but Sylvia reverses only to be caught in a tight guillotine choke from the former Pride champion. Nogueira locks on tighter and pulls guard, forcing Sylvia to tap out.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira def. Tim Sylvia by Submission (guillotine choke) at 1:28, R3
UFC 81 QUICK RESULTS:
-Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira def. Tim Sylvia by Submission (guillotine choke) at 1:28, R3
-Frank Mir def. Brock Lesnar by Submission (knee bar) at 1:30, R1
-Nathan Marquardt def. Jeremy Horn by Submission (guillotine choke) at 1:37, R2
-Ricardo Almeida vs. Rob Yundt by Submission (Rear naked choke), R1
-Tyson Griffin def. Gleison Tibau by unanimous decision, R3
-Chris Lytle def. Kyle Bradley by TKO (Strikes) at 0:33, R1
-Tim Boetsch def. David Heath by TKO (Strikes) at 4:52, R1
-Marvin Eastman def. Terry Martin by Unanimous Decision, R3
-Robert Emerson def. Keita Nakamura by Split Decision, R3