UFC 61 "Bitter Rivals" Play-by-Play
Presented by Sprawl Fight Short Company

Jul 8, 2006
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Kurt Pellegrino (Pictures) vs. Drew Fickett (Pictures)
The fighters traded punches with nothing really landing to start the first period. About 90 seconds in, Pellegrino scored a takedown but was not able to do much with the position. Fickett landed a few elbows from the bottom then escaped to his feet where he glanced a knee and a punch off his opponent's face. Pellegrino then scored another takedown via slam and finished the round in Fickett's guard. Sherdog.com scores the first round 10-9 for Pellegrino.

Round two starts with another Pellegrino takedown. He works from this position until the referee stands them up around the 2:30 mark. Fickett goes for a front choke but Pellegrino escapes. Another restart from the referee. Fickett scores a takedown and finishes the round in Kurt's guard. Sherdog.com scores it 10-9 for Fickett.

Again Pellegrino starts a round with a takedown, where he quickly passed to side-control. Kurt working for the side choke. Fickett escapes and quickly jumps on his opponent's back. Drew Fickett wins via rear naked choke at 1:20 of the third stage.

Cheick Kongo (Pictures) vs. Gilbert Aldana (Pictures)
Aldana with a takedown to start the fight. Lack of action forces a ref standup with 3:20 to go in the round. Aldana with another takedown. Kongo reverses the postion and ends up in Aldana's guard. Aldana escapes to his feet, where he is roughed up bad by several right hands and knees to the body. After a doctor intervened to check a cut sustained in the standup exchange, he called a stop to the contest at 4:13 of the first stanza due to the laceration. Impresive Octagon debut by Cheick Kongo, who picks up the upest victory.

Anthony Perosh vs. Jeff Monson (Pictures)
Monson enters the cage to the Beatles' "Imagine." First period starts with a takedown for Monson. Both fighters back standing. Monson working knees from the Thai-clinch. Monson then lands several uppercuts in a row then a right cross that ends the fight at 2:22 of the first.

Joe Jordan (Pictures) vs. Hermes Franca (Pictures)
Hermes kicks off round one with a right low kick and an overhand right. Pretty slow round with not much happening. Hermes pulls guard with about 20 seconds to go. Jordan lands some good shots within Franca's guard to take the first stanza 10-9.

Second stage was all Hermes. Throwing several lead right hands, and a couple flying knees, he opened up a cut on Jordan's face. Hermes scores a takedown then stands back up and delivers more punishment via punches to Jordan. Sherdog.com scores it 10-9 Franca.

After a fast takedown, Hermes moved quickly to a high mount where he finishes the fight with a triangle from the top position. Franca wins in his return to the Octagon at :47 into the third stanza.

Joe Stevenson (Pictures) vs. Yves Edwards (Pictures)
Fighters touch gloves to start the first ppv fight. Hard lowkick lands for Yves to end a minute-plus long feeling out period. Stevenson lands a takedown at the 2:30 mark. Yves stands up and lands a left headkick that stuns Stevenson. Yves lands a left hand while Steveson slips. Edwards now in Stevenson's closed guard. Edwards landing some crisp elbows from Joe's closed guard. Edwards goes for a flying triangle. Stevenson escapes then lands some brutal elbows from the top position. Edwards escapes and Joe scores another takedown. Yves quickly works for a triangle then an omaplata as the round expires. Sherdog.com scores it 10-9 Edwards.

Crisp boxing from Yves to start the second round. Joe opens up with some strikes then scores a single-leg takedown. Joe now working some ground and pound against the cage from Yves' closed guard. Edwards bleeding very badly now. Referee stops the fight to have the cut checked. The cut is severe but is high on the scalp so they continue the fight. Stevenson dominating now with more elbows. Round two ends with both fighters fighting in a puddle of blood like the Octagon has possibly never seen. 10-9 for Stevenson.

Before the third period were to begin, the doctor halts the contest due to the cut on Edwards' head.

Dan Christison (Pictures) vs. Frank Mir (Pictures)
Mir starts with a hard kick to Christison's groin. Some knees to the body against the fence from the clinch from Mir. Nice takedown from Frank. Mir moves quickly to mount. Frank spins for an armbar but he couldn't secure the position. Frank now in Christison's closed guard. The Las Vegas native seems content to stay in his opponent's guard. Christison goes for an armbar from his back that bends Mir's arm back horribly. Mir escapes then rises to his feet shortly after. Frank goes back to knees to the body. Christison lands a right hand before the round ends. Sherdog.com scores the close round 10-9 for Mir.

Christison lands a nice combo then pushes Mir against the cage. Frank looking tired. The pace slows as Mir scores a slow single-leg takedown. Christison goes for another armbar but Mir defends. Christison now looking for a triangle. The ref restarts them at the 40 second mark. Big left hand scores for Christison. Dan lands a jumping knee to the body just before the second period ends to a chorus of boos. 10-9 Christison.

Nice left hand then a knee to his opponent's body to kick off the final period for Mir. Frank sweeps against the cage and is now working from half-guard. Mir starting to pound away with punches. Christison now bleeding. Mir going for a straight armbar from side-control. At the two minute mark, Christison is able to get full guard. Mir now posturing up and throwing punches from Christison's guard. With 45 seconds to go, the referee restarts the action. Mir shoots in for a double but Dan stuffs it. Sherdog.com scores it 10-9 for Mir (29-28 Mir).

Official score - 29-28 x3 (Frank Mir)

Tito Ortiz (Pictures) vs. Ken Shamrock (Pictures)
The crowd goes nuts as Tito enters the cage to a thumping Eminem track. Ken comes rushing out with a barrage of punches. Tito answers with a knee. Big slam from Tito into Ken's closed guard. About 5 unanswered elbows stops the fight very prematurely. Ken charges towards Tito as Ortiz duplicates his ditch digger celebration from UFC 30. After review of the replay, Tito landed a few very solid elbows with no answer from Ken, but he did not seem to be hurt other than a wince.

Dana White announces Chuck Liddell vs. Wanderlei Silva in November to be held after the Liddell-Babalu bout next month.

Josh Burkman (Pictures) vs. Josh Neer (Pictures)
The fighters touch gloves to start the swing bout. Heavy leather being thrown early with Neer looking more refined but his opponent seems more explosive. Nice body shot from Burkman. Big right elbow from Burkman finds its target. Burkman shoots and scores the first takedown of the bout at the 2:30 mark. Burkman landing some punches from within Neer's guard. Neer sweeps and gets back to his feet. Burkman drops Neer with a right hand and takes his back then goes for an armbar. Neer escapes and lands a big elbow from the top position. Sherdog.com scores the first for Burkman, 10-9.

Burkman starts the second stanza with a glancing high kick. Neer scores a takedown into Burkman's butterfly guard. Both fighters back to their feet with Neer looking for a front choke. Big right and a left from Burkman. Neer drops his hands and taunts. Burkman scoring with knees to the body from a clinch against the fence. Burkman looking for a Kimura but Neer escapes. Nice slam from Burkman puts Neer back on the mat. 10-9 Burkman.

Burkman continues to score with big right hands and standing elbows as the final stage starts. Another takedown from Burkman. Neer almost scores a triangle but Burkman slams his way out of it. Neer now bleeding over his left eye. Neer staying busy from the bottom with elbows and an offensive, open guard. Neer rolls for a kneebar but Burkman defends and returns to his opponent's guard. The fight ends with Burkman back in control. 10-9 Burkman (30-27).

Official score: 29-28 - 30-27 - 29-28 (Josh Burkman)

Tim Sylvia (Pictures) vs. Andrei Arlovski (Pictures)
Arlovski starts with a lowkick while Tim answers with a wild one-two. Big right hand lands for the former champ. Sylvia staggers Arlovski with a punch but is unable to finish. Big leather being traded in the main event. Arlovski lands a big right while Tim attempts a knee. Tim lands a knee to the midsection against the cage. "Big John" restarts the fight in the center of the cage. Spinning back kick lands below the belft for Sylvia. Sherdog.com scores it 10-9 for Sylvia.

Arlovski lands a right hand again while Tim goes for a knee. Andrei starting to fade a bit with his hand speed. Arlovski now bleeding over his left eye after a Sylvia right hand. Right straight to the body scores for the former champ. Tim scores with a straight right after a front kick misses its target. Close fight as the athletes complete the second stage, scored 10-9 Arlovski.

The pace slows as the third round begins. Andrei cirlces as Tim takes the center of the cage. Stiff jab from Tim is answered with a big punch from Arlovski. Double jab from Arlovski finds its mark followed by a right hand. The crowd grows restless as what once was a war has turned into a chess match. Sherdog.com scores it 10-9 Arlovski.

Arlovski continues to work the right hand to the body as the championship rounds begin. Tim catches the former champ with a right hand. Andrei eats another big punch as the fighters trade combos. Andrei bleeding over both eyes now after Sylvia glances a left straight. The fourth round ends to a chrous of boos as the fighters energy fades. 10-9 Sylvia.

Tim lands a few punches to kick off the final round. Arlovski works from his jab as he circles the cage and mixes lowkicks in. Tim continues to score from the outside with a strong jab and right hand lead. Two minutes remain in a lackluster fight that Sherdog.com has scored even through four. "Big" John McCarthy urges the fighters to get busy and don't let the judges decide the winner. The fights ends with a shower of jeers from the crowd. 10-9 Sylvia.

Official score: 48-47 49-46 48-47 (Tim Sylvia)

Stay tuned to Sherdog.com for detailed analysis and exclusive post-fight video.

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