UFC 81 Play-by-Play

Feb 2, 2008
Sherdog.com reports from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas with live play-by-play of UFC 81, which is headlined by a heavyweight clash pitting Tim Sylvia (Pictures) against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (Pictures).

Don't forget to check out the MMA Forums to discuss tonight's event.

Live Results Here.



Hit F5 on your keyboard to refresh often, as play-by-play is updated in real time.

Keita Nakamura (Pictures) vs. Robert Emerson (Pictures)
Round 1
The first round saw a slow paced tempo with lots of kicking. Lots of jabs were thrown by both fighters in the opening minute. The sparring match turned into a fight when Emerson glanced a powerful left hook that sent Nakamura's mouthpiece flying out of the cage. Emerson continued to kick at Nakamura's legs and landed a solid low kick at the end of the exchange. Near the end of the round, Nakamura knocked Emerson down with a knee to the face from the clinch, but Emerson recovered quickly. First round goes to Emerson, 10-9 on the Sherdog.com scorecard.

Round 2
Emerson continued to work at Nakamura's legs with low kicks throughout the second frame. Finding his range with the kicks also set up several crisp, short right hands for Emerson that found their target. By the halfway point of the round, Nakamura; now cut and sporting a decent sized mouse under his right eye, scored a takedown but could not hold Emerson down. The American got back to his feet and continued to kick at Nakamura's legs and aim for the swollen eye with jabs. 10-9 Emerson.

Round 3
The fighters traded jabs for the first min, until Nakamura scored a trip takedown to break the stalemate. Emerson got back to his feet but quickly pulled guard. Nakamura, not wanting to sit inside Emerson's guard, stood up and invited his foe to follow. Nakamura then put together his best prolonged offense of the fight, with several right-handed jabs from the southpaw stance and a left hook. Emerson, fatigued after 13 minutes in the Octagon, started to wing shots but nothing connected. Sherdog.com gave the round to Nakamura. The official judges scorecard's read 30-27 (twice) for Emerson, and 29-28 for Nakamura, giving Robert Emerson the split decision win.

Marvin Eastman (Pictures) vs. Terry Martin (Pictures)
Round 1
In what some observers said would be an action packed fight, the opening round of Eatman-Martin was a true stinker. Eastman went for an early takedown, but Martin switched underhooks and dragged Eastman to the canvas. Both fighters returned to their feet where the clinched repeatedly for the rest of the crown as the crowd showered the Octagon with boos. 10-9 for Martin.

Round 2
The boo-fest continued to play out in the second round, as the busiest man in the cage was referee Yves Lavigne, who had to separate the fighters due to lack of action. Midway through the frame, Eastman caught a thumb to the right eye that opened up a small cut. With 30 seconds left in the period, Eastman tripped Martin to the canvas, which locked up the round on the Sherdog.com scorecard. 10-9 for Eastman.

Round 3
More clinching as the final period began. Martin tried to throw Eastman, but the Las Vegan was able to gain balance and drag Martin to the floor. From side-control, Eastman landed a few elbows before Martin powered back to his feet. More clinching ensued, until Eastman landed the best shots of the fight, a right knee, left straight combo that buckled Martin's frame briefly. 10-9 for Eastman. The judges saw it 30-27 (twice) and 29-28, all for Marvin Eastman.

David Heath vs. Tim Boetsch (Pictures)
Round 1
Boetsch and Heath traded jabs and clinch work through the first half of the first period, until Boetsch landed a right hand that dropped Heath to one knee. Boetsch pounced and tried to finish the fight with strikes, but the game Heath stood and blasted Boetsch with a hard shot of his own. With about 25 seconds left in the round, Boetsch threw Heath into cage and unloaded a barrage of punches, which prompted referee Herb Dean to step in at the 4:52 mark of round one.

Chris Lytle (Pictures) vs. Kyle Bradley (Pictures)
Round 1
Chris Lytle came out and absolutely smoked Kyle Bradley in just 33 seconds of the first round. Bradley tried to get off first with a hard punch, which Lytle countered with a right hook. A right hook followed. And another. Bradley tried to retreat and cover but Lytle was right on top of him, unloading with shots until referee Yves Lavigne stepped in to save Bradley. After Lavigne separated the fighters, the still-dazed Bradley pulled guard on Lavigne and tried to punch, but the referee defended himself and subdued the groggy fighter.

Gleison Tibau (Pictures) vs. Tyson Griffin
Round 1
Griffin fired a straight right that found its target. Both fighters showed good footwork early in the round, as they circled and connected with straight punches. Griffin pawed out a lazy left jab and fired a straight right to the body. Tibau charged in and dropped down for a double-leg, but Griffin used the cage well and avoided the takedown. Griffin found his range with a low kick and two right hands. Griffin continued the assault with punches right down the pipe, and just when it looked as if he had Tibau hurt, the Brazilian scored a powerful takedown. Tibau worked briefly from the crucifix position, but Griffin avoided danger and got back to his feet. Tibau dragged him back to the canvas, but could not hold him down.

Josh Gross scores the round: 10-9 Griffin
Jordan Breen scores the round: 10-9 Griffin
Mike Fridley scores the round: 10-9 Griffin

Round 2
Griffin threw his hands early but couldn't connect. Tibau went back to the clinch and was unsuccessful in a takedown attempt. Tibau cracked Griffin with a straight left. Tibau, with blood dripping from his nose, nearly had a takedown but Griffin defended and landed a hard right hand. A crisp kick to the left side of Tibau's body landed for Griffin. Another right hand cracked Tibau just before the Brazilian scored a single-leg. Griffin got back to his feet immediately before the horn sounded.

Josh Gross scores the round: 10-9 Griffin
Jordan Breen scores the round: 10-9 Griffin
Mike Fridley scores the round: 10-9 Griffin

Round 3
A left hand landed for Tibau in the center of the Octagon. Tibau shot in and scored a beautiful takedown. For the first time in the bout, the contest displayed some extended ground work. Tibau passed to half-guard as Griffin tried an arm-drag. Griffin gets back to his feet but eats three punches in the process. Two hard body shots crushed Tibau's frame. A lunging right elbow landed for Griffin just before Tibau clinched and stomped Griffin's left foot. Griffin returned the favor with a stomp of his own. Griffin used good wrist control to get off the cage as time expired.

Josh Gross scores the round: 10-9 Griffin (30-27 for Tyson Griffin)
Jordan Breen scores the round: 10-9 Griffin (30-27 for Tyson Griffin)
Mike Fridley scores the round: 10-9 Griffin (30-27 for Tyson Griffin)

All three judges agree with scores of 30-27 for Tyson Griffin.

Rob Yundt (Pictures) vs. Ricardo Almeida (Pictures)
Round 1
An uppercut landed for Yundt to get the action started. Almeida shot in and scored a double-leg takedown. Almeida locked on a guillotine with an arm inside as Yundt tried to get to his feet. Yundt tried to slam his way out of the hold but was forced to tapout at 1:08 of the opening period.

Jeremy Horn (Pictures) vs. Nathan Marquardt (Pictures)
Round 1
Marquardt threw Horn to the ground and blasted away with powerful right and left hands. Horn, underneath Marquardt and with his back to the cage, tried to go high with his hips in search of an armbar or a triangle but Marquardt had none of it. Marquardt stood and invited Horn to follow. Horn attempted a takedown but pulled guard after the shot was unsuccessful. Now back to their feet, Marquardt landed a right uppercut and an elbow. Horn, hurt from the blow, shot in and was briefly caught in a D'arce choke. Marquardt let go of the hold and elbowed the head three times. Horn locked on an omaplata and transitioned to a gogo-plata twice, but Marquardt escaped. Horn scored a sweep before the round closed

Josh Gross scores the round: 10-9 Marquardt
Jordan Breen scores the round: 10-9 Marquardt
Mike Fridley scores the round: 10-9 Marquardt

Round 2
Horn found himself in the top position on the ground after Marquardt slipped while throwing a low kick. Horn landed an elbow that opened up a small cut above the right eye. Marquardt got to his feet and locked on a fight-ending guillotine choke shortly after standing at 1:37 of the second round. Marquardt applied the hold with his back to the fence while standing. Horn tried to drop down and out of the hold, but tapped as soon as Marquardt followed him to the canvas and gave his neck a good crank.

Frank Mir (Pictures) vs. Brock Lesnar (Pictures)
Round 1
Lesnar caught a kick and immediately took Mir down. From half-guard, Lesnar blasted away with elbows and punches. Steve Mazzagatti took a point away from Lesnar for hitting the back of the head. Lesnar dropped Mir with a right hand. Lesnar pounced with punches and had Mir hurt. Mir went for an armbar but Lesnar escaped and continued to tee off. As Lesnar went to posture up, Mir locked on a kneebar that forced Lesnar to tapout at 1:30 of the first.

Tim Sylvia (Pictures) vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (Pictures)
Round 1
The fighters traded jabs in the center of the Octagon early in the opening round. Two short rights landed for Sylvia before Nogeuira pulled guard. "Minotauro went to half-guard when Sylvia decided he had seen enough of the ground and stood up. Nogueira landed a right hand that snapped Sylvia's head back. Sylvia then blasted Nogueira with a right hand that crashed him to the canvas. Sylvia tied to fiish but Nogueira recovered quickly. Nogeuira, bleeding above his left eye, ate aother hard shot before pulling guard again. Elbows landed for Sylvia. Sylvia stood up again and landed an uppercut. Nogueira, looking fatigued, landed a jab. A body-head combo landed for Nogeuira. "Minotauro" scored a single-leg takedown as time expired.

Josh Gross scores the round: 10-8 Sylvia
Jordan Breen scores the round: 10-9 Sylvia
Mike Fridley scores the round: 10-9 Sylvia

Round 2
The pace slowed in the second round as both fighters landed punches, but nothing connected solidly. Sylvia went to the body with two right straights as Nogueira jabbed with his left hand. Nogueira dropped levels for a single, but Sylvia showed good balance and briefly grabbed the fencing to defend the takedown. A solid jab landed for Nogueira. Sylvia answered with a right hand that hurt Nogeuira. And another. A left straight found its range for Nogueira just before the horn sounded.

Josh Gross scores the round: 10-9 Nogueira
Jordan Breen scores the round: 10-9 Sylvia
Mike Fridley scores the round: 10-9 Sylvia

Round 3
Both fighters landed stiff jabs early in the second. Sylvia landed a right hand moments before Nogueira pulled guard. Nogueira swept Sylvia and went to side-control. Nogueria locked on a guillotine choke as Sylvia tried to get to his feet. Sylvia tapped quickly. The official time is 1:28 of the third period.
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