The Brain vs. The Heart: Top 5 Moments of UFC Fight Night 81
The first event of 2016 may have turned out well for the Brain and Heart, but Sunday’s event wasn’t so kind. The Brain managed to break even with a 2-2 record and the Heart had a big donut with an 0-4 record. The over standings are now the Brain with a 6-3 record and the Heart with a 4-5 record. This was an unusual card as it took place on Sunday night. Hopefully that didn’t deter too many people from watching because there were definitely several memorable moments. Here are the top 5 moments of UFC Fight Night 81:
- Felder Pulls of Comeback Submission
Cruickshank did a good job of avoiding Felder’s attacks for most of the fight, while successfully countering with his own. He was put in a few bad positions in the first two rounds, but was able to escape without too much work. Going into the third and final round, it definitely looked like Felder would need a finish in order to get the win. Felder did a good job of transitioning on the ground and was able to take the back of Cruickshank and sink in the fight ending rear naked choke for the comeback victory. Cruickshank has lost three in a row and 4 of his last 5 official contests. He could be in some trouble. Felder’s victory halted his two-fight skid and he’ll live to fight another day in the UFC.
- Herman Flattens Boetsch with Knee
This fight saw a lot of solid punches from both fighters. It was only a matter of time until one of them finally dropped. That moment would come in the second minute of the second round. Herman landed a big uppercut and followed up with a massive knee the sent Boetsch crashing to the mat. Herman followed with several right hands before the referee intervened. Boetsch has now lost three in a row and six of his last eight. His job could definitely be in jeopardy. Herman will likely be looking at a top 15 opponent in his next fight.
- Mitrione’s Eye Gets Its Own ZIP Code
Travis Browne was able to land the harder shots through three rounds and eventually get the TKO stoppage late in the third round. After the stoppage, the camera panned over to Mitrione and everyone saw a pretty brutal swelling over the same eye that had previously been poked twice earlier in the fight. Though replay showed that Browne did land a very hard (legal) punch directly to the eye, the crowd certainly didn’t approve thanks to the eye pokes earlier in the fight. Next up for Browne could be the winner of the Barnett/Rothwell fight coming up in two weeks.
- Alvarez Uses Pressure to Defeat Pettis
Melendez and dos Anjos were able to use a pressure heavy game to stifle the offense of Pettis, and Alvarez definitely took note. He constantly pressured Pettis and tied him up against the cage to take the decision victory. It wasn’t the most exciting fight, but he secured the victory, which is more important. Pettis was able to land some solid strikes, but Alvarez never game him much room to work. I think a fight between Pettis and Michael Johnson would make a lot of sense right now. I’d really think Alvarez should fight Nate Diaz or Tony Ferguson next. Either one of those fights would be great to watch.
- Cruz Reclaims Throne
The main event of the evening definitely didn’t disappoint. Cruz and Dillashaw proved how elusive and quick both of them are. This was definitely a back and forth fight and I figured it would be a split decision. I personally scored the fight for Dillashaw 48-47 (rounds 1, 4, 5), but that first round was definitely extremely close and I don’t think it was a robbery either way. However, I don’t necessarily agree with the judges that scored the fight 49-46 either way. With the win Cruz completes his incredible comeback to reclaim the title he never officially lost. He didn’t look like he missed a beat, and ring rust doesn’t exist (in case you didn’t hear Cruz say that 100 times now). Even in defeat, Dillashaw proved that he could hang with the best bantamweight ever. There are a lot of possibilities for Dillashaw’s next opponent. If they don’t decide upon an immediate rematch, he’ll likely get one of the surging contenders such as Sterling, Almeida, or even McDonald. Cruz will likely face either Dillashaw in an immediate rematch or Assuncao if he can finally get healthy.
Be sure to check back in two weeks when the UFC returns with UFC on FOX 18 which will feature an important light heavyweight clash between Anthony Johnson and Ryan Bader (as well as the quick turnaround of Sage Northcutt for all you Sageheads out there).
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