(1/17/2016)
100% Reviewed
Top 10 Best Fighters (26 Total):
1. Patrick Cote - 93.0
2. Luke Sanders - 92.7
3. Rob Font - 92.7
4. Dominick Cruz - 92.3
5. Paul Felder - 91.8
6. Francisco Trinaldo - 91.8
7. Chris Wade - 91.6
8. Ilir Latifi - 91.5
9. Ed Herman - 91.4
10. Travis Browne - 91.4
UFC Fight Night 81: Dillashaw vs. Cruz
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Elevation: 141'
SCORE
-Fight of the Night-
Dominick Cruz vs. T.J. Dillashaw
92.5
Fighters & Matches 90.2
Top 10 Fighters 92.0
TOTAL 91.1
87.8
Decision
15:00
     Barroso started the fight with some sloppy, but somewhat effective striking, throwing all of his bodyweight into big looping punches, and landing a few of them. Mutapcic tried to keep him at distance with random kicks. Barroso secured a takedown halfway through the round, Matapcic secured full guard, and threw some elbows at the top of Barroso's head, and Barroso was trying to land some big elbows from the top position. I gave the first round to Barroso, mostly based on top control, even though it was kind of a stalemate once it hit the ground. The second round started with the same thing, both guys throwing big looping sloppy strikes, with Barroso trying to catch kicks for a takedown. It was sort of a slow paced round, and Mutapcic lost his mouthpiece multiple times (almost looked like maybe his jaw was broken?) But yeah, close-ish round, but Barroso landed the better strikes, and Matapcic's face was a bloody mess by the end of the round. The third round had Mutapcic landing some better counters, but it was a fairly close round, not a lot of action, and both guys looked exhausted. In the end, I thought Barroso at least won 2 of the rounds, and deserved the decision. He is sloppy as shit though, and his cardio kind of sucks, considering the lack of action, and how tired he was by the end of the fight. Mutapcic clearly absorbed far more damage though, as he had a big cut over his right eye, a cut under his left eye, and his jaw was hanging wide open for almost the entire fight. All 3 judges agreed with me, giving the win to Francimar Barroso. I really don't think either of these guys are UFC material though.
91.1
TKO
(Punches)
9:13
      That was a pretty solid opening round. Joey Gomez is making his UFC debut, and Font is returning after a year & a half out of the octagon due to injuries. Font pretty much spent the entire first round picking apart Gomez with slick punching, nice angles with his kicks, and he scooped him up for several takedowns. Gomez was able to get back to his feet almost immediately each time, but it was a clear round for Rob Font. The second round was another round full of Font slipping out of the way of Gomez's punches, while landing some brutal punch combinations of his own, as well as a nice variety of kicks. Font nearly finished Gomez halfway through the round with some brutal punches and knees, but Gomez took him down to save himself. They got back to their feet, and Font continued to destroy Gomez, finishing him near the end of the second round with some BRUTAL punch combinations. Rob Font looks pretty legit, and now he's on an 11 fight winning streak (but this is only his second UFC fight). But yeah, I'm really looking forward to seeing where he goes from here.
90.0
Decision
15:00
      Kyle Bochniak took this fight on 4 days notice, after two other opponents fell out due to injuries. Rosa spent the entire first round trying to work some sort of wacky Karate sidekick for some reason. Meanwhile, Bochniak repeatedly blasted him with big right hands, even knocking him down at one point, he tried to finish him with some ground & pound, and then Rosa fought his way back to his feet by working for a leg lock. At one point Rosa caught a kick, and sort of took Bochniak to the ground, but Bochniak hopped right back to his feet with one leg. I gave the first round to Bochniak. The second round was another round of Bochniak throwing his right hand, while Rosa was picking him apart with a wide variety of kicks. Rosa also secured a takedown in the final minute of the round, but only landed a few shots before Bochniak popped right back up. Bochniak shot in for an explosive takedown in the final 30 seconds, put Rosa on his ass, they stood back up, and Bochniak landed a brutal knee on Rosa's way back up. I'm assuming Rosa won that round? Personally, I scored it a draw, because I didn't think either fighter really had a clear advantage. The final round was a pretty brutal battle, with Bochniak clearly looking for the finish, trying to take Rosa's head off. Rosa was tearing up Bochniak's lead leg with kicks, and busted up his nose pretty badly. With a minute left in the round, it's anybody's fight in my opinion. Rosa went for some sort of front choke with 30 seconds left, but Bochniak broke free. By the end of the fight, Bochniak's face was mangled, but... I sort of want to give him the fight? On 4 days notice, you can't make a better UFC debut than this. All 3 judges gave the fight to Charles Rosa, the hometown guy. Really solid fight overall.
89.3
TKO
(Punches)
0:30
      This fight started, Latifi punched O'Connell, he started to wobble, his legs turned into rubber, O'Connell collapsed, and the referee stopped the fight. I guess O'Connell got knocked out? I think the fight MIGHT have been stopped a little fast, but still, solid win for Latifi I guess. I would have liked to see the fight continue for at least a few more seconds though, because O'Connell was complaining IMMEDIATELY about the stoppage, and looked like he was still ok, just rocked.
91.0
Submission
(Rear-Naked Choke)
13:56
      Felder looks like he's easily a full weight class above Cruickshank, but Cruickshank wasn't intimidated at all. Cruickshank came out swinging, blasted Felder with a lot of keys, and some hard punch combinations. Felder of course blasted him with some brutal leg kicks, but I had the round going for Cruickshank for most of the round. With about 90 seconds left, Felder went for a wild flying guillotine choke, trapping both of Cruickshank's arms with his legs in midair, and it looked like the fight could end, but Cruickshank slammed him and slipped out of it. Felder went for a takedown, and Cruickshank flipped him over onto his back immediately. I'm giving round one to Cruickshank. The second round started with some wild spinning attacks going both ways, before the fight turned into an awkward grappling stalemate against the cage, with Cruickshank shooting for a takedown, and then Felder ending up on top of him. It looked like Cruickshank was going to be locked down for a while, but then Cruickshank just powered his way back to his feet, and then blasted Felder with some BRUTAL spinning back elbows, wild kicks, and crazy punch combinations, rocking Felder a few times, before Felder somehow ended up with an inverted triangle locked on. Cruickshank did a decent job defending against it, but he was in pretty bad shape. Cruickshank fought his way out of it with 30 seconds left in the round, and then ended up on top of Felder, looking for another takedown. Crazy round, and Felder scored some big points with that choke, but I have to give the round to Cruickshank I think, for those wild striking combinations. Cruickshank also slammed Felder at the end of the round for good measure. Close round, but I have Cruickshank ahead, 2-0 going into the final round. Felder spent the entire final round, grabbing Cruickshank's back, and holding him on the ground. He didn't really make anything magic happen, but he definitely controlled Cruickshank for the duration of the round. Felder got Cruickshank on his back with 2 minutes left in the round, and Felder beat him up with some short elbows against the cage. Felder got on Cruickshank's back, Cruickshank tried to stand up, and Felder finished him with a rear-naked choke. This marks 3 losses in a row for Cruickshank, ALL by rear-naked choke. LEARN TO DEFEND THAT CHOKE DAMNIT! Really solid win for Paul Felder though, especially since I thought he was losing the fight, and he did what he needed to do, to get the victory with a minute or so left in the fight.
91.0
Submission
(Rear-Naked Choke)
3:38
      That was a pretty wild fight. Blanco of course threw his usual explosive strikes, and Sanders did a decent job countering him. There was a wild scramble for a takedown, and Blanco got on the back of Sanders, turned it into an arm-triangle choke, let it go, tried to posture up and pound on Sanders, and they eventually got back to their feet. They continued to exchange strikes, Sanders landed a big left hook, knocked Blanco on his ass, and Sanders pounced on him, grabbed his back, and finished him with a tight rear-naked choke. Awesome UFC debut by Luke Sanders, as he continues his 11-0 undefeated record.
89.2
Submission
(Rear-Naked Choke)
4:30
      Here we have another short notice replacement, with Mehdi Baghdad coming in on 9 days notice. He's also apparently the RFA Lightweight Champion right now. This fight started with Wade grabbing Baghdad's head, and whipping him to the ground. Wade was caught in Baghdad's guard, and tried to punish him with punches & elbows from the sky. Baghdad tried to get back to his feet, Wade teased him with a guillotine, and Baghdad laid back down. With 2 minutes left in the round, Baghdad tried to kick his way back to his feet, but Wade just transitioned to try to grab his back, continuing the pressure against the cage. Wade eventually worked in a rear-naked choke, and finished the fight via submission with less than a minute left in the round. Really solid one-sided performance by Chris Wade.
89.8
KO
(Knee)
6:39
      Ummm... Herman looked like he was tired in the first round. Not like he got winded, but like he just woke up, and wasn't sure where he was when he got in the cage. Boetsch on the other hand, was looking somewhat gassed by the end of the first round. Herman was working some slick dirty boxing, and Boetsch was blasting him with some big shots that rocked Herman a little bit. In the end, I'm calling the first round a draw. The second round started up, with the same basic setup, Boetsch trying to land big punches, and Herman trying to work his dirty boxing from the clinch. Herman eventually clinched, BLASTED Boetsch with a massive knee to the chin, and Boetsch collapsed immediately, and Herman punched him a couple of times before the referee was able to stop him. GREAT win for Ed Herman.
91.6
TKO
(Punches)
6:14
      These guys traded a few strikes, and then Saunders secured a takedown, but Cote showed a suprisingly dangerous guard. He went for an armbar, it looked dangerous, and Saunders slipped out, but Cote used it to get into top position, and Saunders had the butterfly guard against the cage. Cote sort of just "Ben Saunders-ed" Ben Saunders in that first round. The second round had Cote working some dirty boxing, he threw about 30 uppercuts from the clinch, put Saunders on his ass, it looked like Saunders was going to try to work his guard, but Cote was relentless, and continued to pound on Saunders, until the referee stopped the fight. That was a pretty insane performance for Patrick Cote. I'm shocked that he finished Saunders like that, beating him from inside all of Ben's best positions.
90.8
Decision
15:00
      OH SHIT... Hahaha... This fight took about 4 minutes before the action really started. Both guys spent a lot of time waiting to counter the other guy, and neither guy was really attacking. When they did attack though, they were both throwing heat, big head kicks, hard punches, etc... I thought the fight was fairly even up until the final 30 seconds or so, where Trinaldo rocked Pearson with a big head kick, and then picked him up in the air, and LITERALLY dropped him on his head. Great round for Trinaldo. The second round was more of the same, until Trinaldo threw a big knee, Pearson caught it, and took Trinaldo to the ground, but Trinaldo was able to scramble back to his feet without much trouble. Trinaldo launched a few more knees, and started unloading punch combinations while Pearson was in trouble against the cage. Pearson did a good job surviving though. Trinaldo goes into the final round with a pretty clear 2-0 lead. That second round was a great round for Trinaldo. The final round was more of the same, until Trinaldo landed possibly the hardest head kick of the fight, and Pearson caught his leg after it landed, and took Trinaldo to the ground, but Trinaldo got back up a few seconds later. Pearson turned up the pressure for the rest of that round, so I'd probably give the final round to Pearson, but this was still a very clear 29-28 victory for Francisco Trinaldo in my opinion, and a very fun fight to watch by both guys. All 3 judges agreed with me, and two of them even gave Trinaldo all 3 rounds. I was a little nervous that he'd get screwed by bad judging here, but nope... Trinaldo wins.
90.0
TKO
(Punches & Elbows)
14:09
      The first round was basically an example of what happens when you set up a cannon in each corner, and then just let them fire off a shot at a time. Eventually, you assume someone will go down. The problem is, the worst strike of the first round, consisted of Browne's pinky going in the right eye of Mitrione. I'm giving that round to Mitrione though, because he knocked Browne on his ass at one point (Browne MIGHT have slipped, but he also poked Mitrione in the eye, so let's just agree to give the round to Mitrione.) The second round started up, Mitrione rocked Browne again, attacked him hard, looking for the kill, and Browne poked Mitrione in the eye again, this time with a very clear thumb. Mitrione came back aggressive, clearly pissed about the eye pokes, so he was looking to take Browne's head off, but he wasn't very accurate with his strikes. Brown eventually tripped him, and went for an Americana, and then a guillotine, but Mitrione was able to get back to his feet. I guess this fight is all tied up going into the final round, but I really wish they would have taken a point away for Browne for those two eye pokes. Browne continued to pick apart Mitrione with kicks in the third round, and then he grabbed him, picked him up in the air, and slammed him to the ground, and then mounted him. This is looking really bad for Mitrione. Browne ended up getting the referee to stop the fight by dropping really slow punches from full mount. Mitrione's right eye looked like a fucking baseball by the end of the fight. Fuck Travis Browne. That's all I have to say. Great win, but fuck... I would have loved to see Mitrione knock his ass out here.
88.7
Decision
(Split)
15:00
      Of course we all expected this fight to be a kickboxing match, but Alvarez spent almost the entire first round trying to take Pettis down against the cage. He sort of got him down a couple of times, but he absorbed a lot of short punches in the process, as well as a few hard kicks. I'd like to give the round to Alvarez for aggression, but I think Pettis won that round tactically. The second round was more of the same, with Alvarez trying for a takedown, and failing, while Pettis picked him apart with kicks and short punches. Pettis is ahead 2-0 going into the final round I think. Boring fight so far. The final round was the same thing until 90 seconds in, when Alvarez FINALLY secured an official takedown. From there, Pettis went for a heel hook, and Alvarez punched him in the face. Pettis worked his way back to his feet, and Alvarez punched him some more, and then threw him to the ground again. They stood back up, and Alvarez stayed glued to him, working for another takedown, and he got it. This was a boring fight, and the first 2 rounds were close, and Alvarez very clearly won the final round. So with that being said, I would like to see Alvarez win this fight, even though technically, I scored this fight 29-28 for Pettis. Two judges gave Alvarez the fight, via split-decision. I'm actually happy with that result, even though his 100% takedown offense was boring as shit, and Pettis SORT OF got robbed. It was close though, so solid win for Alvarez.
92.5
Decision
(Split)
25:00
      Wow... So much action, it's hard to call the action on this fight. The first round basically had Cruz showing his usual AMAZING footwork, barely getting touched, and he was picking apart Dillashaw from all directions. Cruz also beat him in a few quick wrestling exchanges. Round one goes to Cruz. The second round was basically more of the same, with Cruz looking slick as hell, as he picked apart Dillashaw on the feet. Cruz also secured a couple of takedowns in the second round. 2-0 for Cruz so far. The third round was the same story, Dominick Cruz is the fucking MASTER of movement. 3-0 Cruz so far. Dillashaw MIGHT have won the fourth round, by taking Cruz to the ground, and grabbing his back, but Cruz got right back up, and didn't really absorb TOO much damage in the process. Dillashaw mostly just threw knees at Cruz's thigh. That was probably the closest round of the fight so far. Let's say 3-1 for Cruz going into the final round. The final round was a VERY back & forth round, with Cruz's lead leg getting torn up, enough to make him limp, but he blasted Dillashaw with some BRUTAL combinations as well. Very good fight, fairly close fight, but I feel very comfortable scoring this fight 48-47 in favor of Dominick Cruz. Two judges agreed, THANK GOD!!! Giving the fight to Cruz via a VERY hard fought split-decision victory.
OVERALL 91.1
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